Raising Weather Aware Kids
We are right in the middle of hurricane season and just one short year after a memorable tornado outbreak that moved through Central Virginia. Extreme weather can be fascinating for kids. It can also be a major source of anxiety. Being weather aware and prepared are great first steps in helping kids calm their weather nerves.
We have pulled together a list of books and other resources that are perfect for sharing with kids. Whether you’ve got a budding meteorologist a home or a kiddo who gets nervous every time thunder booms, these books provide great information and are perfect conversation starters.
Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? by Tish Rabe, illus. by Aristides Ruiz – Part of The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series, this book introduces kids to many of the basic concepts of weather using the familiar Dr. Seuss rhyming style. It even shows kids how to determine a lightning bolt’s distance by counting the seconds between the flash and the sound of the thunder.
Fly Guy Presents Weather by Tedd Arnold – Buzz and Fly Guy are back! This time, they’re visiting a weather station and learning all about weather. There are lots of snapshot pictures to look at and cool stuff to discover, including an introduction to the different types of clouds and an overview of the difference between weather and climate.
Little Kids First Big Book of Weather by Karen de Seve – From the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books series, this book is awesome! It is packed with loads of cool facts, pictures, and easy to understand information. There are many conversation prompts included, which help kids connect the concepts with their own lived experience.
Hurricanes and Tornadoes by Gail Gibbons – Two nice picture books that cover the basics of how hurricanes and tornadoes form, how they are classified, and how to prepare and keep safe during one of these scary weather events.
Blizzard by John Rocco – After a major blizzard hits, a boy recounts the adventures he and his family have weathering the storm’s aftermath. This is a great book for talking about stuff like what to do when your doors won’t open because there is too much snow outside and what you would do if you run out of food because the roads are impassable.
Al Roker’s Extreme Weather by Al Roker – Everyone’s favorite TV meteorologist digs deep into the nitty gritty details of all sorts of extreme weather phenomena.
Fear and Anxiety
The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo, illus. by Courtenay Fletcher – After a storm takes away everything that rhino holds dear, he swallows the storm. Through the help of his friends, he slowly begins to make peace with the scary experience and grow stronger. This book shares the message that even though some experiences are very scary, there are helpers out there and things will get better with time.
Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt – Scaredy Squirrel is afraid of almost everything and would much rather stay safe in his tree than go into the outside world. Fortunately, Scaredy Squirrel has a plan for any crisis that might arise. When something finally forces Scaredy Squirrel out of his tree, he realizes things might not be so scary after all. Two important messages can be found in this book: 1) Not every emergency is as bad as we imagine, and 2) Being prepared can help keep us safe.
I Used to be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – A child recounts all of the things they used to be afraid of. Die-cut pages turn to reveal why they are no longer scared. This is a great book for helping to start a conversation about why kids are scared of something. As Mr. Rogers has wisely said, “we often find that their fantasies are very different from the actual truth.”
We hope these books can be helpful, should you ever need to support a child who might be nervous because of the weather. If you need more ideas, please visit one of branches and talk to a children’s librarian or browse our Family Resource Centers.
And make sure to visit Henrico County’s Emergency Preparedness webpage for tons of information to help keep you and your family safe.
Hello! The general weather books do touch on the climate crisis, but for further reading we suggest the following:
Climate Change and Life on Earth by Chinwe Onuoha
Climate Change and Energy Technology by Rebecca E. Hirsch
Climate Change and Air Quality by Linda Crotta Brennan
Our librarians can also help you find more! Stop by the children's department next time you are in the library, or you can fill out our My Next Reads form and we will email you a personalized list.
Henrico County Public Library