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The Junior Thunder Lord Hardcover – 1994

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Go to School, Little Monster
Go to School, Little Monster
Helen Ketteman’s soothing rhymes and Bonnie Leick’s sweet watercolor illustrations combine to create a reassuring first-day-of-school story that’s perfect for little monsters everywhere. See more | More by Helen Ketteman

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Yep (The Man Who Tricked a Ghost) here gracefully wraps a 17th-century Chinese fable in a zestful style that speaks immediately to readers and vivifies its moral-that "those at the top should help those at the bottom." Merchant Yue learned that lesson as a dull schoolboy; thus, when he must travel to sell his wares during a drought, he takes pity and feeds the ravenous Bear Face, a huge, shambling man whose manner and bearing the natives find disgusting. Bear Face, in turn, later saves Yue's life. When Yue implores Bear Face to return home with him, he astonishes Yue by first revealing his true identity as a Junior Thunder Lord and then summoning the much-needed rain. Van Nutt's dynamic, detailed illustrations telegraph a range of moods; along with establishing interiors of inns and underwater seascapes, they are also capable of soaring into the roiling dragons and storm clouds of Bear Face's skies. The division between heavens and earth reinforces the gulf between Bear Face and Yue-and the moral-making the happy ending doubly satisfying. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-When Yue was young and not doing well in school, the smartest boy helped him out, saying, "Those at the top should help those at the bottom." Yue becomes a merchant when he grows up and he lives by those words, but never so much as when he leaves his drought-stricken home to find new customers. He encounters a huge man called Bear Face, who is an outcast among the people. Yue is kind to him; in return, Bear Face rescues Yue from drowning. Yue insists that Bear Face accompany him home, where the man reveals himself as a junior thunder lord and repays Yue's kindness with rain. Yep is a skillful storyteller, and his text is simple and effective. The characters are multifaceted; when Bear Face reveals his identity, he does not lose his sense of humor or his mild irreverence for convention. There are no surprises here. Anyone with a grasp of folk tale conventions knows that Bear Face isn't what he seems, but the tale remains satisfying. Van Nutt's cartoonlike pictures are bold and bright, with vibrant colors and nice details, and the cover illustration of Yue huddling in fear before the restored junior thunder lord is enticing. The quality of the artwork is undercut, however, by the lack of variation in the basic features of all but the main characters. While this detracts somewhat from the book, the story is well written and will appeal to a wide audience.
Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: BridgeWater Books/Troll Associates; 1st edition (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816734542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816734542
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,049,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurence Yep has been fascinated with tales of sibling rivalry from the day he was born. His older brother, Tom, chose his name Laurence - after a saint who died a particularly gruesome death. Laurence has been trying to get even ever since. Laurence Yep now lives in Pacific Grove, California, with his wife and is one of children's literature's most respected authors. His award-winning titles include Newbery Honor Books Dragonwings and Dragon's Gate.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Jmarie on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
To me this is the perfect book for grades K - 4. It is gorgeous, with the golds and reds and blues streaming from each picture. It has action -- a shipwreck, a giant eating noodles (this is a very action-packed scene). And the main theme is mentioned three times, but still seems understated: Those on the top should help those on the bottom. Astute kids will also catch minor lessons: "You thought I had no manners on earth, but how would you fare in my world?" It's packed with humanity and humor (at one point Yue regrets befriending the rough Bear-Face, because no one else wants him around. Have you ever had a friend you loved, that was a bit like this? What about if you had just met? Would you abandon them?) I tell you! So many messages! Near the end, there is a lovely picture up in the storm clouds, of the Bear-Faced Thunder Lords drumming and the rain-Dragons looping through the clouds.
Use this book for: myths, kindness, China, friendship, unexpected allies, action, manners (including burping!).
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Format: Hardcover
Once upon a time in China, there was a drought, and a man named Yue had to travel far from his dry fields to go to town to sell his goods. At an inn, he was kind to a hairy, uncultured man who had been rejected by all the other folks at the inn. Later the same man saved Yue's life. But Yue was surprised when the man turned out to be a Thunder God in disguise, and was able to make rain for Yue's drought-stricken town. A great book for discussing whether we should judge a person by his looks alone, or look for the hidden value in each person. Illustrated with bold, bright colors by Robert Van Nutt. Ages 5-10.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WaterKress on December 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We actually used this in a Sunday school class to generate a discussion of how to treat people. The normally restless group was gripped, and loved the humorous drawings. At first, the Thunder God is horrible -- sloppy eater, bad breath, dirty. Kids can relate to having to deal with someone they find wierd. Good fun, good literature, good message
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