Miles and the Weather Bureau
by Taffy Davies

Taffy Davies' Miles and the Weather Bureau

Children's book review by Jane Finch

Ages 4-8

A children's book about magical powers

Miles is a bit of a tearaway and seldom does as he is told. Although he knows he should not go to the rubbish dump, he takes his trolley and sets off to see what he can find.

Amongst all the old rubbish he finds an interesting piece of furniture, and takes it home. It turns out to be an old bureau with lots of different drawers.

As he cleans up the front he sees that each drawer has a word on it. One says LIGHT RAIN, another SNOW, another THUNDER, and so on.

Full of curiosity, he opens the LIGHT RAIN drawer and it begins to rain. Likewise with the GALES as the wind nearly blows him off his feet. As soon as he closes the drawer the weather stops.

Miles has a great idea. He puts an advertisement in the local paper offering types of weather for sale. He gets lots of orders; one person wanting lots of wind for a sailing trip, another wanting thunder and lightning for a film scene, and another asking for snow for skiing.

Miles takes so many orders the weather gets mixed up and causes chaos. He ends up with mixed orders so that snow, rain, gales, thunder, and storms all come at the same time and messes up all his weather orders.

Luckily, he finds an EMERGENCY STOP drawer and manages to stop all the crazy weather he has created. He suddenly realises controlling the weather is not fun at all and is far too much trouble. He quickly takes the bureau back to the dump.

Miles and the Weather Bureau is a delightful book because it has a touch of magic to hold a child’s interest, and is great fun as Miles gets into all sorts of trouble. It has a moralistic aspect in that it shows that all is not what it seems, and having the power to control something like the weather is not an easy ride.

Miles and the Weather Bureau

The book has a Christian ethos and ends with a small paragraph explaining that trying to control the weather is a great responsibility and when Miles tried to do it alone he got in a real muddle. It is nicely written and told from Miles’ point of view and has some great colourful illustrations. There is no chance for the reader to become bored as the story moves along swiftly.

Miles and the Weather Bureau is probably a book best read to a child between 5 and 7 years of age. It would probably not be ideal for a child to read alone in view of some of the longer words and phrases. Also with the Bible text at the end it offers a parent the opportunity to expand on the idea and to discuss with the child if appropriate.

Illustrations are full page and interesting.

For any child who has an interest in the weather, or magic, or a mixture of the two, they will love this unusual book.

Read more of Jane's reviews.

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