When I was a kid, I had a book called The Greatest Natural Disasters of the Modern World, or something like that. It was a chapter book, and each chapter was dedicated to a different catastrophic event in history. The book was fascinating, and I read it more times than I can count. Unfortunately, a side effect of this was that I became completely neurotic. Basically, I was at the age where I was old enough to fully grasp the horror and destruction of a huge earthquake, tsunami, or volcanic eruption, but also to young to properly put the chances of any of those things happening to me in perspective. So I worried. A lot. I felt relatively certain that my house would be taken out by a tidal wave (coming from where, I don't know--the Chesapeake Bay, maybe? The local swimming pool?), and don't even get me started on earthquakes.
I thought of the book today while reading some article about swine flu hysteria, and looking back, I have one question: who the hell thought it was a good idea to write a CHILDREN'S BOOK about NATURAL DISASTERS? Why make children feel even more insignificant and helpless than they already are? I don't get it. But there must be a good reason, because I checked Amazon.com today, and apparently making children scared of natural disasters is big business; there are hundreds of books on the topic. Some titles you can buy for the lovable little scamp in your life:
Natural Disasters: A Chapter Book
Totally Weird Natural Disasters
I believe this one was created with the rationale that it's OK to terrorize kids, as long as it's WACKY!
MOTHER NATURE GOES NUTS!
This book is called MOTHER NATURE GOES NUTS! I like that it includes a free toy, so you have something to play with while you lay in bed at night with your eyes wide open, trembling and wondering when death is coming for you. How thoughtful.
Inside Access: Natural Disasters
This one gets the WTF? Award. I wasn't aware that a plan crashing through a wall counted as being brought on by nature.
Graphic Natural Disasters: Tsunamis & Floods