Prairie Storms

Horn Book Guide - April 2012

This yearlong celebration of the prairie features twelve double-page-spread illustrations (one for each month) and lyrical descriptions of animals responding to seasonal weather changes. Both text and illustrations vary from being effective and engaging to overly earnest and pseudo-poetic. Appended pages include additional information and classroom activities.

Kirkus - July 2011

Each double-page spread presents a different prairie beast and a different weather event for each month. Pattison’s text is descriptive and refrains from anthropomorphizing. Rietz’s watercolors of realistic animals in various areas of the grassland habitat are a good match. Six pages of activities and quizzes on animals, weather, habitats and seasons follow December’s spread. Best for classrooms or school libraries looking to plump their science collections.

Book Loons - September 2011

What do animals do during natural disasters? Darcy Pattison shows examples of what might happen using the prairie ecosystem. She uses weather changes on the prairie as month by month new challenges are brought to the animals there.

In a January snowstorm, a prairie chicken claws a nice roost beneath the snow drifts. An April flashflood finds prairie dogs hunkering down in their burrows beneath the ground as water crashes through their prairie dog village.

Illustrations by Kathleen Rietz bring the prairie animals to life. Thick pages add quality and longevity to the books in this series. They're sure to be read over and over.

Science Books and Films - October 2011

Prairie Storms doesn’t just talk about the weather on the plains; it gives us a glimpse into the native animals and how they deal with storms, droughts, and other meteorological phenomena throughout the year. For instance the prairie chicken and the bison are uniquely equipped to deal with cold and snow. The former burrows in and the latter faces into the wind. Showing a plains dweller and a weather condition on each page, Prairie Storms leads usthrough the calendar year exhibiting expected climatic conditions for that month. Beautiful two-page framed spreads do a good job of showing an animal or bird of the plains and the weather condition that might be currently affecting it. The book gives a unique look at the differing plains habitats, from the more fertile areas to the drier ones. Accompanying activity pages and a Teaching Activity Guide on the publisher’s website introduce other aspects of the weather and animal adaptations to those conditions. An entire science unit could be created around the contents of Prairie Storms and its related activities. Suitable for a Pre-K to fourth grade comprehension level, younger children will enjoy hearing the narrative and seeing the colorful pictures. Older grades will find the accompanying activities challenging and mind-expanding.
Ellen McCabe, Memorial Library, SUNY-Cortland, Cortland, NY

Mom of 3 Dolls Now 4 - June 2012

Cozy up for this great rainy day read! Prairie Storms gives you a front row seat to learn about a year of ever-changing prairie weather, and how the animals living in these grasslands adapt and survive in this harsh climate. Each month, read about a new animal, and learn about everything from how a prairie grouse can survive the January snows to how an earless lizards escapes the harsh, unrelenting drought of August. Told in lyrical prose, this story is a celebration of the great American prairies. See more about Prairie Storms and free coloring pages at


All the Arbordale Publishing books comes with a Creative Minds for extra activities related to the books. This book includes Grassland Habitat, Grasslands Around the World; Weather or Season?; Animal, Weather, and Seasonal Changes: True or False?; and Humans, Weather, and Seasonal Change. It's a fun and educational way to read a book! The ebook version also comes in Spanish.

Jennifer Rumberger - May 2012

I loved the first section of the book featuring a prairie animal against its habitat backdrop in each spread. The illustrations are very real and pull the reader in. The back section features a “Creative Minds” educational section. Younger kids can learn so much from reading the story, while older kids gain knowledge from the excellent resources and Q&A sections in the back.

Michele Bradford - May 2012

Thank you so much to those who participated in this giveaway.  Darcy Pattison is an excellent speaker as well as being a talented author of Children's literature.  What I love most about Prairie Storms is that some of my favorite animals are featured in this book.  In addition, the back is full of extended learning possibilities; a perfect addition for home and classroom settings.  Darcy captures the non-fiction prairie in a creative way. How animals are affected and live in storms becomes entertaining. Kathleen Rietz paints prairie life in a realistic, warm capture…setting an inviting stage…even though the environment is sometimes chilling.

Carol's Notebook-March 2012

The illustrations are beautiful detailed drawings of the birds, mammals, even a lizard. I think my favorite is the bisons in a winter blizzard. The herd stands, unshaken, unmovable, undaunted. The bison stand prairie-strong and defiant.” I love the language she uses to. It’s a pleasure to read and to look at, a wonderful book to share with kids.

Books 4 Learning - February 2012

As with all of Arbordale's amazing titles, Prairie Storms incorporates a mixture of science and language enrichment opportunities.  The striking illustrations (by Kathleen Rietz) are spring boards for discussing the attributes of both the seasons and the diverse weather portrayals.  Each two-page spread is labeled with the month for opportunities to discuss the spelling, which season it belongs to, and typical weather during that time.  There is a nice mix of more commonly known animals with lesser known ones, allowing vocabulary and visual recognition skills to be expanded.  The lyrical lines are well-written and appealing.  I recommend this book for ages 4-8.

Home School Book Review - October 2011

There are so many benefits in a book like this—familiarizing children with the months and seasons of the year, introducing them to the different kinds of inclement weather, and helping them understand more about the various sorts of wildlife which inhabit the prairie.  Darcy Pattison’s lyrical prose text and Kathleen Rietz’s realistic illustrations make this celebration of the great American prairies a real winner.

Learning Table - November 2011

Today has been a stormy day here in our neck of the woods, so I pulled out Prairie Storms, and we read it together while we snuggled in and watched the weather from our window.  Another valuable resource from Arbordale, Prairie Storms follows the changing weather in the prairie during the year.

Papertrails Family Blog, Logan Age 9 - November 2011

It’s interesting, because this book talks about what animals do during storms, and I never really thought about that. I like storms when it’s pouring rain, and when there’s no lightening so I can go out on the street and play in it. The illustrations in this book are very detailed and help you to understand what the author is talking about. I think this would be a good book to use in the classroom if your class was learning about storms and weather.

Taking Time for Mommy - September 2011

Our Thoughts – We are absolutely in love with the Arbordale Publishing books. They have fun activities in the back. We sat and read this book, did the activities in the back and the girls were so interested we spent ours looking up anything we could about Prairies, change in season, etc. This book was a great conversation starter!

4 the Love of Books - September 2011

I loved how they take you through each month of the year starting with January and share a different animal and to deal with the changing weather and season and habitat. The illustrations are very eye appealing as well. 

Peace, Love, and Rainbows - August 2011

We LOVE Praire Storms the book is so great. Everything from the monthly poem to the 2 page illustrated spread to go along with the month and poem. This book is not only wonderful way to teach about the changes each month, but also great way to teach kids about the prairie, weather, animals that inhabit the prairie. For this book we have it sitting on our nature table and I plan to change up the setting to go along with the month./season

Simply Science Blog - August 2011

Tracing the weather month by month, Prairie Storms features a different animal on each spread as it survives, aided by its specific adaptations to this habitat. The language is lovely and engaging for young children. Soft art by Rietz portrays the animals in a realistic manner within their prairie environment and surroundings. The book would be a good one for story time, studies of habitats, weather, or animals.

Torrance Macaroni Kid - September 2011

A great story to read on a rainy day or just about anytime! My son & I enjoy reading the book as a bedtime story! Prairie Storms teaches children about a year or weather on the prairie as it changes and how the animals adapt and survive in the often harsh climate. My son enjoyed that each month there is a new animal to learn about and he enjoyed learning how the lizards escapr the drought in the month of August. He loves lizards and yes, we have one!

Just Another New Blog - September 2011

Prairie Storms is a beautifully illustrated children's book that shows how nature changes with the seasons. Each month is represented by a two-page spread featuring a bird or an animal in their natural surroundings. Beautiful, flowing prose tells the story of the prairies - snow drifts and fog, winds and rain, thunderstorms and heat waves. Kids will enjoy learning about seasonal changes, animal habitats and natural phenomena.

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - August 2011

Another winner from Arbordale!

Just Our Thoughts - September 2011

This book teaches the months of the year, and the seasons.  The author teaches about weather.  In the back there are questions about geography and habitat.  Growing up on the Canadian prairies for a good chunk of my life and living here with my children now, this book described prairie weather very well.

Heck of a Bunch - August 2011

In Prairie Storms, a different animal and different month is featured on each page.  Some animals we were familiar with, while others we just learned about while reading the book.  The animals are featured and given explanation for what they do during storms and harsh weather conditions. This is a wonderful book to introduce to your child about these topics.