Years ago when we lived in Memphis and my daughters were two and
four years old, I was preparing dinner and they were drawing pictures
at the table when we were all startled at the sound of a freight
train coming through the kitchen. The girls leaped from the table
into my arms and then the sound stopped. Thats when I noticed
a couple of cracks on the ceiling that hadnt been there before.
It wasnt a train, of course, but an earthquake running along
the New Madrid fault, not the big one, but enough of a rumble to
rattle the rafters. . .and scare Ellen and Polly into asking all
kinds of questions about this natural phenomenon. For a week or
so afterwards, they were still talking about the incident.
Books can help explain earthquakes and other forces of nature.
In fact, just the act of finding a cozy place to sit and read to
your children can be soothing and reassuring.
First, you might want to bone up on your knowledge by checking
out the book, Coping
with Natural Disasters from any Springfield-Greene County
Library. The slim volume by Allison Stark Draper explains the science
of earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes,
wildfire and lightning in simple and understandable prose and then
gives straightforward advice on dealing with each natural disaster,
including the emotional reactions to them.
Vera Florea, the librarys youth services coordinator, recommends
these books to help children cope with various weather-related problems.
The first couple are suitable for young readers and the others for
older kids, but they all have pictures that interest all ages of