#890 – Mira Forecasts the Future by Kell Andrews and Lissy Marlin AND “How Kids Can Predict the Weather” a Guest Post by Mira

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Welcome to the Book Tour for Mira Forecasts the Future, a debut picture book by Kell Andrews, illustrated by Lissy Marlin, and published By Sterling Children’s Books. Mia Forecasts the Future released last week and is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore. Mira agreed to write a guest post about how other kids can make a weather station, just like she did, and begin predicting the weather, using the instruments Mira explains in this post.

Kids Forecast the Weather
By Mira (aka Kell Andrews)

Mira Forecasts the Future is about how the daughter of a fortune teller uses science to learn to predict the weather — and stops a surfing contest from turning into disaster. How does Mira do it? The same way other kids can!

Here is Mira, to tell you in her own words how she makes weather predictions.

Someday I’ll be a professional meteorologist. That’s a scientist who studies weather and makes weather predictions. I’ll work in a high-tech weather station and use cool tools like radar, satellite photos, and computer models. Maybe I’ll even report the weather on TV!

Meteorologists also use a lot of the same tools I have in the weather station I made with my mom. My most important tools are my own eyes. I use them to observe the sky and my tools. (Observe means watch scientifically!) I make my own weather predictions, and you can too!

Mira’s Weather Station
“Mira, Mira on the wall
Free predictions for one and all!”

Here’s how I use my weather station. You can make one too, but all you need is thermometer and your eyes to start tracking the weather. These are the other conditions I look for when predicting the weather, plus the tool you’ll need.

Temperature – My thermometer measures temperature – how cold or hot it is. I keep it inside my weather station so the sun doesn’t heat it up.

Air pressure – It doesn’t feel like air has weight, but it does! My barometer measures how much the air is pressing on the earth. When air pressure is high, skies are usually sunny. When air pressure is low, skies are usually cloudy.

Wind direction – I check the streamers on my windsock to see which way the wind is blowing. You can also use a wind vane.

Wind speed – I can’t see the wind, but I can tell the wind is blowing harder when my pinwheel spins faster. I put it on its side so it’s more like a real anemometer, the tool meteorologists use to measure wind speed.

Rain – I marked the sides of a straight jar with a ruler to make a rain gauge. It collects the rain (precipitation) so that I can measure rainfall.

Clouds – I love observing the clouds. There are two main kinds: puffy clouds (cumulus) and flat, layered ones (stratus). Clouds are made of tiny water drops. When they are gray, they are full of water and more likely to rain.

Apps – My mom lets me check her phone app to check what kind of day the experts predict. I can even look at radar and satellite photos.

Weather Journal – I write down my observations and measurements from my weather tools a few times every day. That’s how I see patterns in the weather. Good observations make good predictions! Good records too.

No one can tell the future (except my mom Madame Mirabella), but when I use the right tools, I can predict the weather. I’m not always right, but usually.

Mira Cover Mira Forecasts the Future
Written by Kell Andrews
Illustrated by Lissy Marlin
Sterling Children’s Books   6/14/2016
32 pages     Ages 3—7

Children’s Book Club™ Selection

“During the summer, Mira watches the boardwalk while her mother, Mirabella, the Miracle on the Sea, tells fortunes. Predicting the future is a gift: You either have it or you don’t, And Mira just doesn’t. Then one day, she notices the wind fluttering through the streamers of a windsock. Using science, she finds her own special talent for making predictions. But when an impeding storm threatens the town’s surf competition, her newfound skill is put to the test.” [inside jacket]

Being the daughter of a famous fortuneteller can have its drawbacks, especially if you cannot follow in the family trade. This is Mira’s predicament. Her mother is the “Miracle on the Sea” fortune teller extraordinaire. When mom looks into her crystal ball, she sees all sorts of signs about the future. All Mira sees is a distorted reflection of herself. Mira tries to tell fortunes, but with disastrous results.

“Good luck will fall into your lap”
(An ice cream on a cone falls into the boy’s lap—not quite the prediction he expected.)

When Mira’s mother gives her a pinwheel and a windsock, Mira’s fortunes change. She notices the wind flowing through the pinwheel and the windsock. Mira checks the appearance of the clouds and the warm air. She predicts the morning’s weather—and is correct! Inspired, Mira learns all she can about the weather.


Opening her own predictions booth, Mira gives weather predictions for the asking. Her accuracy is impressive, but not enough for a stubborn surfing judge who, seeing only sunshine and clear skies, refuses to believe Mira’s prediction of a nasty storm headed right towards the surfers.

Mira Forecasts the Future is an interesting story about predicting the weather. Unlike Mira’s mother, Mira uses science for her predictions. Mira gathered knowledge about weather from books and then adds gauges (thermometer, barometer, rain gauge, anemometer, windsock, and cloud appearance) to predict the weather.

Mira’s “weather station” is a hit and earns her a good reputation as a weathercaster. Mira is a good role model for science-oriented girls. Learn all you can about what interests you and then go all out. Mira does just that and finds success.

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Set in the age of the flapper (1920’s), there are a few odd features. I don’t believe SPF 100 was around in the 1920’s, yet Mira suggests the female lifeguard wear it on a sunny day. I doubt there were even female lifeguards; though I appreciate the author having a girl in what was, at the time, a dominantly male role. Young children are not going to consider these decade-blunders important and they will not ruin their reading experience, yet fact-checking is important, especially in children’s books.

The digital illustrations (Photoshop gouache brushes), use vibrant colors along the boardwalk and with Mira. Purple and blues dominate the spreads, which are full of  movement and whimsy. The characters are from all backgrounds, sizes, and shapes. This is a nice change from the all-white, perfectly images characters in many books. Marlin did a good job matching the outfits to the timeframe.


Mira is an excellent character. Her anguish about not having her mother’s gift gives way when she discovers her own gift. Trying to emulate her mother’s talent only got in the way of Mira discovering her own. It’s not a message of the book, but it could be: Learn to be yourself, not someone else or someone else’s vision of who you are.

Mira Forecasts the Future is Kell Andrews first picture book.

MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE. Text copyright © 2016 by Kell Andrews. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Lissy Marlin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Sterling Children’s Books, New York, NY.

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Find Mira Forecasts the Future on Goodreads HERE.

Kell Andrews: http://www.kellandrews.com
Follow on Twitter          @kellandrewsPA

Lissy Marlin:  http://www.lissymarlin.com/
Follow on Twitter          @LazyFish11

Sterling Children’s Books: http://www.sterlingpublishing.com/
Follow on Twitter           @SterlingBooks

Sterling Children’s Books is an imprint of Sterling Publishing.

Reprinted with permission from MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE © 2016 by Kell Andrews, Sterling Children’s Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, Illustrations © 2016 by Lissy Marlin.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Mira Forecasts the Future by Kell Andrews & Lissy Marlin, and received from Sterling Children’s Books, (an imprint of Sterling Publishing), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mira Forecasts the Future
Written by Kell Andrews
Illustrated by Lissy Marlin
Sterling Children’s Books 6/14/2016


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