________________ CM . . . . Volume xxi Number 25 . . . . March 6, 2015


Floods. (Natural Disasters).

Jennifer Howse.
New York, NY: AV² by Weigl (Distributed in Canada by Saunders Book Company), 2015.
32 pp., pbk., hc., single user eBook & multi user eBook, $13.95 (pbk.), $24.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4896-1207-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4896-1206-9 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4896-1208-2 (single user eBook), ISBN 978-1-4896-1209-0 (multi user eBook).

Grades 2-6 / Ages 7-11.

Review by Aileen Wortley.

* /4


Floods are One of the Deadliest Natural Disasters in the World

Flooding is a natural disaster that results from high water flow that rises too quickly to properly drain. Land is quickly submerged under water. The ebb and flow of water through river systems is a normal and predictable occurrence. Minor amounts of flooding are expected on river systems, such as the annual flooding the (sic) Amazon River in South America. The river can reach 50 miles (80 kilometers) wide during the flood season. The forest plants and animals have adapted to the seasonal flooding. The people who live near the river also adapt to the normal seasonal rise and fall of the Amazon River. However, if the amount of water is too much within a short period of time, that can lead to disaster.


This title in the “Natural Disasters” series is intended to address some basic information as to how and why floods occur, the damage they cause, attempts to control and prevent them, as well as miscellaneous information about the most dramatic floods in history and other fascinating facts. While there is reference to a number of international floods, especially those in Bangladesh, much of the information relates to floods occurring in the United States.

     The book, itself, can be read cover to cover or in bite-size pieces for browsing and is aimed at children aged seven to eleven. It is plentifully illustrated with stock photographs. Words related to floods are highlighted and defined in a glossary, and the book also includes a short historical timeline, a quiz based on the information provided, an index and occasional sidebars providing information in brief. Readers are shown how to make their own hydrology monitor to measure precipitation. By means of typing in a specific code into the publisher’s website, children can link to electronic media that enhance the reading experience effectively with slide shows, quizzes and embedded web links.

     This title’s usefulness is limited by the way the information has been presented. The two page “chapters” carry unwieldy headings such as ‘Floods Cause Billions of Dollars of Damage,’ and ‘People Have Come up with Many Ways to Try to Prevent Floods.’ Sometimes, as in the above excerpt, there is little in the chapter content about the subject mentioned in the heading. There is no real logical arrangement or progression of the chapters or information provided, e.g. the chapters entitled ‘Floods Can be Controlled’ and ‘Wetlands Prevent Floods’ is six chapters away from the section entitled ‘People Have Come up with Many Ways to Try to Prevent Floods’. It seems to be a rather haphazard miscellany of information without any sense of trying to lead a reader through the topic step-by-step. Although the information provided appears to be intrinsically sound, there is no indication that technical expertise on the subject was sought. While the electronic media connection provides added value, it should not replace the need to include further reading sources, related websites, and useful contact information within the book itself.

     Despite the audio visual component that makes the title original and which encourages further exploration of the topic, as a stand alone item, Floods cannot compare with other books available on this topic. At best, it could be considered only a marginal title in the subject field.

Not Recommended.

Aileen Wortley is a retired librarian from Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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