Finger on the Weather

Author uses animals to teach children about weather

Mindy Cook wrote “The Animals’ Weather Guide for Children” “to educate and empower kids not to fear the weather.”
Mindy Cook wrote “The Animals’ Weather Guide for Children” “to educate and empower kids not to fear the weather.” Courtesy photo

Do you have a young child who gets frightened whenever the wind howls or thunder rumbles?

A new children’s book about how to respond to different types of weather may help ease their fears.

“The Animals’ Weather Guide for Children” was written by Mindy Cook of Wichita and features illustrations by Melanie Regier of Newton.

Cook, the marketing director for AccuWeather senior vice president Mike Smith, said she uses the instinctive behavior of animals to teach children how to handle any weather condition they may encounter.

“My goal is to educate and empower kids not to fear the weather but to understand that they can protect themselves, giving them personal responsibility, self-reliance and confidence that may save their life someday,” she said.

Cook includes such weather events as lightning, thunder, tornadoes, snow and hurricanes. She uses language that is calming even as it spells out dangers and what to do.

Cook has already begun work on a sequel, “Weather Around the World and Other Natural Wonders.” She plans to showcase such weather events as a haboob in Egypt, a water spout in the Blue Grotto of Italy, monkeys in a monsoon, dust devils in Mexico and the Christmas Winds that sail through the Caribbean.

A portion of the proceeds from each book sold will go toward the Steve Sax Foundation, which was set up by the former professional baseball player and aims to motivate and encourage young people.

The book is available in Wichita at Watermark Books, although Cook said she’s also hoping to make it available eventually at the Sedgwick County Zoo and Exploration Place.

Fittingly, it’s also available in Greensburg, which was decimated by an EF-5 tornado in 2007.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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