Stormy Weather

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Stormy Weather By Debi Gliori, Illustrated by Debi GlioriStormy Weather by Debi Gliori really is the perfect bedtime book for small children – even though you might not think it from the title. This is an absolutely gorgeous book telling of little ones across the world curling up safely and going to bed even when the weather is not too good. It depicts all sorts of small creatures cuddling up with their mummies and it cannot fail to make you go ‘aaahh!’ as you are reading with a small child. Just to give you a taste, this is how it starts off on the first page:

‘Pull up the quilt, turn out the light,
Dear child, it’s time to say goodnight.
In darkness black and soft and deep,
I’ll watch beside you while you sleep’.

As you can see Stormy Weather is written in beautiful lilting rhyme and there is a serene and tranquil quality in the words chosen and the pace and rhythm. It has a very reassuring tone which I am sure will appeal to most small children.

As the story progresses it evokes lovely images of small creatures across the world being read goodnight stories before the lights go out. However, across the world there is also quite a bit of stormy weather but this is nothing to worry about as everyone has someone to curl up to and keep them safe and warm. There are some beautiful illustrations to back this up such as the baby seal being cuddled by its mum in the middle of the rocky ocean or the polar bear and its mum snuggling on their four poster bed that has been sculpted out of snow! These are very beautiful and also comforting to small children who might not like storms very much themselves. Towards the end of the book, it all seems to calm down a bit and it’s lovely to read that:

‘From North to South and East to West,
From cave to berg and twig to nest
A sleepy hush across the world,
Small creatures in their beds are curled.’

This is a lovely ending to the story and an ideal moment to kiss your child goodnight and turn out the light as they curl up in their own warm beds!

I think that ‘Stormy Weather’ is a beautifully crafted book from start to finish. The language used is extremely well chosen and the description is just perfect – whipped leaves, snapped twigs, branches flailing – and really helps create strong pictures. There are also a couple of lines which I think describe the thunder and lightning in a storm brilliantly:

‘If thunder tore the night in two
And lightning played at peek-a-BOO!’

This is such a great verbal image which is reinforced visually through the powerful illustrations. All the illustrations are very vivid and bold, and definitely worth spending some time over.

I also like the fact that the story is written in rhyme. As well as providing a gentle lilt, it gives young children the opportunity to develop some phonological awareness skills especially if they have a go at providing the rhyming words.

Overall this is a fabulous book that I feel convinced that most small children will love and will want read over and over again. The thoughtful language, the beautiful illustrations and the warm sentiments behind the story make this an absolute winner!


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Stormy Weather
by Debi Gliori

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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