A #SciFiMonth Book Review | “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather” by Jane Lowry A STEM #MGLit story to encourage scientific curiosity!

Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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I am a new hostess with Aunt Addie’s Book Tours wherein I have the chance to feature and review Children’s Lit – specifically focusing on Middle Grade and/or Young Adult as well as Picture Books for younger readers. I was attracted to this blog touring company due to how they are passionately proactive in highlighting the latest in Children’s Literature whilst giving me a hearty selection of authors and publishers I can potentially host for whilst on one of the blog tours. This was a tour I had meant to read and review the book – except to say, the book was delayed reaching me and as I had posted a Spotlight with Notes about why was curiously keen on reading it whilst on the tour, I requested to hold off posting my review until November to run during #SciFiMonth.

I received a complimentary of “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather” direct from the author Jane Lowry via Aunt Addie’s Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I am consistently looking for STEM stories in MGLit & YALit:

I grew up enjoying the benefits of having a local Science Center – where I could study a variety of Sciences and have hands-on learning experiences. One of the saddest days of my adult life was finding out my old Science Center changed from being open & accessible to all learners to being a test-in center where you literally had to ‘prove’ you belonged and deserved to attend those classes, labs and workshops. It also became an accredited center where those classes were not just strictly taken for personal enrichment & the curiosity of the Sciences themselves but rather as another box to tick off as completed towards a final transcript for the students portfolio.

I found that to be quite off-putting as an adult who has a curiously healthy appetite for seeking new frontiers to explore in all STEAM & STEM disciplines – the reason that saddens my heart is because of the children that will automatically exclude who do not test well or who cannot take a test to prove their deserving of taking those classes simply due to an innate curiosity about their topics, subjects & lessons which the teachers will help them explore. I firmly believe the Sciences should remain open to ALL learners – especially for children without having to have this stacked requirement just to get into the door. That benefits no one and it makes learning as a child as structured as school – I for one, did not thrive in structured learning environments & as a dyslexic learner I fell behind a lot of those cracks in the organisation of traditional learning. The Science Center of my youth is where I spent thirteen years exploring the Sciences and developing a curiously scientific mind as an adult.

This is why as a book blogger – I was naturally attracted to reading Science & Mathematics topics in Non-Fiction inasmuch as I wanted to seek out pro-positive Science narratives for young readers within the realms of Middle Grade & Young Adult – whilst recognising there are a heap of talented illustrators and Picture Book authors who are also contributing a positive ray of light on encouraging children to cosy into Science and their own wings to fly within the subjects & fields which personally interest them to explore.

When I saw this story was going to be featured on a blog tour – I quite literally jumped at the chance to focus on it because who wouldn’t want to question the weather & the practices of others who are helping to do more harm than good in our physical environments? Be sure to earmark this on your #mustread list and/or if you find it an inspiring premise – maybe tuck in a copy for your young reader for Christmas?

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A #SciFiMonth Book Review | “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather” by Jane Lowry A STEM #MGLit story to encourage scientific curiosity!The Why-entist and the Wild Weather
by Jane Lowry
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Sukarno Achmad
Source: Publicist with Aunt Addie's Book Tours

The Why-entist is a girl who asks a lot of questions!

After her uncle cuts down a forest and causes a lot more carbon dioxide to get into the air, the weather gets wild with big winds and storms. The Why-entist asks librarians, an environmentalist, her family and a scientist about the change. They explain green house gas and how global warming works. She and her friends and everyone in town, except her uncle, decide to clean up the air by planting trees and using clean energy like solar and wind power. Can she and her friends help her Uncle change his mind?

Genres: Children's Literature, Climatology, Illustrated Stories, Meteorology, Middle Grade, Science, Science Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1733837507

Also by this author: The Why-entist and the Wild Weather

Published by Quoi Happens Publishing

on 10th October, 2019

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 44

Published By: Quoi Happens Publishing

Illustrated by: Sukarno Achmad

this begins the ask-a-lot kids series!

Available Formats: Hardcover

Converse via: #MGLit #CliFi + #STEM and #SciFiMonth

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About Jane Lowry

Jane Lowry

Since the first time Jane Lowry saw a headlamp shine while pedaling her bike, she has been in love with renewable energy and what it can do.
As a former teacher, Jane knows the importance of motivating children to learn more STEM/STEAM material. She believes that it’s never too early to gently introduce young minds to real world vocabulary and ideas in a friendly story.

Her love of teaching and energy has taken her as far away as Japan. She’s active in the United Way’s “Read With Me” program.
Today, Jane works with engineers and scientists who research renewable energy technology from solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, to biomass.

Born in Canada, she now resides in Colorado with her Navy veteran husband, two growing up fast teens, Jasmine the rescue dog, and Pickles and August, her cats. Her love of writing, discovering what clean energy can do, coupled with cooking, travel and what’s new in the delicious world of chocolate keep her busy.

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What drew my readerly eye on the Why-entist and the Wild Weather:

I wanted to be a part of this blog tour to help champion the authors who are inspiring the next generations of self-directed learners towards the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Art fields of exploration – without the Arts & Sciences our world is not going to be make the kind of artful progress it needs in order to combat the environmental, technological and climatological issues which are hitting us harder each and every year.

We need children to become enraptured with a curiosity about how things work and why things are important – the premise of this story felt like it was a good jumping point towards offering children a chance to start asking those BIG questions we once did ourselves and perhaps, either be part of the changes we need to take in the future and/or inspire others to be leaders by example of how you can make changes in your personal lives to positively affect the environment & living spaces we all cherish to protect today.

We might be told the future is bleaker than bleak but we always have the hope of changing the tides of how history will reflect on our actions if we take moments like these to continue to instill the knowledge children need for their own futures whilst sharing what we, ourselves have learnt throughout our own lives. By passing the torch of curiosity on to the younger generations – Earth has a chance of finding a way to be sustainable with a balanced environment.

my review of the why-entist and the wild weather:

When you first open the book itself, it is lovingly large to hold in your hands – I can envision myself as a younger reader loving the largeness of its size because I used to read a lot of chapter and picture books of this nature when I was a child. I gravitated towards illustrated stories quite regularly and whilst Mum was my first ‘narrator’ (long before I developed a keen interest in audiobooks in my late thirties) – I would happily soak inside these beauties on my own as they were easy to navigate and follow the story-line! As an adult reader whose gone back inside Children’s Lit first inspired by her nieces and nephews and now as a reader whose recaptured the joy of Children’s Lit itself – I can attest that finding picture books of this nature are a true treat!

Right from the start, you’re captured by the front cover illustration of a young girl in raingear with a cloud trying to ‘shift’ weather towards her as she looks out to sea. And, the squirrels in the scene capture the moment beautifully with their expressive faces!

Ooh, dear me – its like travelling back inside my who childhood!

Right down to the words I used to ask aloud all the time to my Mum and Dad, my grandparents and my teachers of whom I felt never could properly address my inquisitive enquiries as they were too focused on the outlines they had made for the year. This young girl is definitely a mirror image of myself – as she has this natural bourne curiosity about everything! And, that is simply a refreshing find in a book of this kind!

The squirrels are like the unnamed narrators and/or the omnipresent observers of this story! They are in each of the scenes – tucked away in the foreground and/or the background, observing the goings-on of the humans and have these most endearing expressive reactions on their faces! They are quite the hoot! I can see how children would warm towards them and perhaps become more cognisant of the squirrels in their neighbourhoods – wondering what they get up to whilst we’re all living our own lives ourselves!

Through the why-entist’s eyes, eyes and words young readers become introduced properly to terms such as ‘global warming’ and what happens when icebergs start to melt into the sea. This is a story which roots a young reader in the largeness of climate change but without the ominous feeling that we adults know to be an almost losing battle in a world that has different priorities than protecting the earth and her environs. There is a hopefulness in this story which we all have to remember is still lingering round the edges of when habitats are still disappearing, when seas are still rising and where our own weather patterns are all but recognisable anymore.

I *loved!* when the why-entist is shown on the telephone with a scientist!! Mostly because I used to cold-call people who were specialised in their fields, too! It is one of the best research tools we still have today next to public libraries and University libraries where you can quite literally run a search on any field of Science you can think of to develop a curiosity to know more about!

The concept of community and grass-roots movements are also highlighted – championing the work of localised environmentalists, conservationists and preservationists who are attempting to clean up our waterways, the ocean (such as the organisation who sells the bracelets to haul more rubbish out of the sea?) and even the beaches! This is a picture book which seeks to show the solution isn’t one-sided nor is it one-dimensional – it is a concentrated effort which will take all of us working together towards a singular goal.

This is why the Uncle is viewed as the antagonist of the story as he’s the only one who is not wrapping his mind round the consequences of his actions. This in of itself is a prime lesson for younger readers who still haven’t equated how what they do themselves can have repercussions on others round them.

On a personal level, I was thankful to see this story bridges in how (natural) gas can be considered a non-renewing energy source as for me what puts it on the wrong side of the ledger to pursue is the fact in order to have it you have to frack. Fracking causes so many environmental and health concerns, i am still amazed that people are not more concerned about than they are right now. This story seeks to highlight why other sources for energy are truly cleaner and more sustainable for a future that is not reliant of practices which seek to destroy rather than to renew.

The secondary story if you will goes unwritten – you have to find it in the illustrations – the younger me would have been tickled by the discovery as you see, those cheeky squirrels I keep mentioning? They have their own unique story-line and its completely played out by the illustrated genius of Achmad!

The Science and the ramifications of the choices we are making individually and collectively are told in a gentle fashion to help young readers understand what is happening right now in their world. It brings the ‘top headlines’ into their minds and gives them a heap of things to discuss with their parents, guardians and grand-parents; all of which hopefully will encourage them to seek out their local Science Center, public library and other resources in their communities which will put the environment in their hands in a healthy way to encourage a lifelong appreciation for our living Earth.

on the writing style of jane lowry and a notation on the illustrations by skarno achmad:

The writing is very fluid except for a few moments here or there where Lowry attempted to make the text rhyme and flow into previous line of thought. I think this would have worked better outside a rhyming theme of context and written more as a narrative arc of a chapter story instead. The pieces which disconnect are the ones where the rhyming fails and this loses a bit of balance in the overall story as you’re trying to work out what happened on those lines.

The story itself is rooted in the fact the young girl has an Uncle who doesn’t care about what something costs to acquire nor the affects that acquisition will have on the living environment where it is located. This is a very modern issue and a cause for concern for everyone – to place that modern day circumstance of strife into a Children’s illustrated story is beyond brilliant because it will get a conversation started which needs to continue to expand; as the work of Greta Thunberg attests towards not having a clear cut exit window in her outreach, advocacy and activism for environmental awareness.

Blessedly there is a helpful Glossary included in the Appendix for curious readers who might want to have a handy reference to refer back to after they’ve concluded the story!

Specifically on the illustrations:

It is the realistic capture of the why-entist which left me happily aglow whilst reading the book! The illustrations capture her rapt curiosity and the happiness that gives to her whilst others round her look at her with the kind of awed shock that I’m used to receiving myself! Also, the details alone make the illustrations a happy compliment to the words as like the illustrated stories I used to read myself, what you can intuit from the illustrations also adds another layer of joy to reading the story. They work towards highlighting what Lowry is stipulating in the dialogue and the narrative itself whilst also operating a bit independently, too!

I found the illustrations to be rather colourfully strong in their portrayal of the story – they depict the growing concerns of the why-entist but also, the downfall of man whose only focus is on industrious pursuits and the greed of what money can wreck on the fragility of living ecosystems which cannot handle inference by man and the outcomes of what happens when you counter-influence the climatic shift in that living habitat. (ie. keep a ready eye out for the squirrels!)

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This book review is courtesy of: Aunt Addie’s Book Tours

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I am keenly excited about being able to read this release myself – what kind of STEM works of literature are you discovering as being a wicked #mustread for #MGLit & #YALit?
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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This book review is part of my participation in the following event:

Sci Fi Month 2019 banner created by Imyril and is used with permission. Image Credit: Photo by Sebastien Decoret from 123RF.com.
Image Credit: Photo by Sebastien Decoret from 123RF.com.

Kindly view my TBR for #SciFiMonth!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Why-entist and the Wild Weather”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Jane Lowry, blog tour banner and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Sci Fi Month 2019 banner created by Imyril and is used with permission. Image Credit: Photo by Sebastien Decoret from 123RF.com. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: SFN: Sci Fi Month Review badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 14 November, 2019 by jorielov in Aunt Addie's Book Tours, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Debut Author, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction

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