FICTION

The Weather Disaster

illus. by Matthew McElligott. 40p. (Mad Scientist Academy). Crown. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553523768.
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K-Gr 4—Dr. Cosmic and his Mad Scientist Academy students are back for a second outing that is truly out there. The green-faced, wild-haired Dr. Cosmic has invented a wearable weather balloon and a CHAOS (Cooling/Heating Airflow Operating System) machine and is unnervingly optimistic about their success. As will no doubt be the pattern throughout the series, the students must absorb a crash course in this curriculum so that they can save both the professor and the day. Even adults reading the book aloud at school or at home will learn a few things. The colorful comic strip format is varied and dramatic. Not all readers will linger over the occasional info-packed box ("The Water Cycle," "Types of Precipitation," etc.), but the facts are made optimally interesting through dramatic and funny illustrations. Drama, humor, color, and format are indeed the main elements that make this and the previous volume so enticing—along with the occasional "KABOOM!" and "KA-BAM!"
VERDICT Science fans and comics enthusiasts will dive right into this, but don't deprive other readers; there's enough fun here for anyone.

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