Tsunami: Helping Each Other by Ann Morris

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Ann Morris. Tsunami: Helping Each Other. Millbrook Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0761395010 32 pp. $

****

Like a human interest newspaper story, this nonfiction picture book recreates the story of what happened in southeast Asia in December 2004 to explain what a tsunami is and how it effects the people and land. By focusing on one family in the village of Khao Lak whose two sons survived by climbing up into a tree as waves flooded their beach for over an hour, the book balances fact and story. Primary source material is incorporated with statistics to completely show the billions of dollars of devastation that resulted in the loss of more than 5,300 people with 2,900 still missing, and the destruction of whole neighborhoods.

Vibrant full color photos are truly worth a thousand words–lone sneaker, montages of donated goods, and helpful elephants are juxtaposed with peaceful jewel tones of the Pacific Ocean. Children’s drawings of the catastrophe are included at the end of the book.

No index, no further reading, no glossary are included. The title has some usefulness as a bibliotherapy title but not a great deal of value for reports on tsunamis in general.

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