From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 5-Thunderstorm raises talking about the weather to an art form. Each generously sized spread is an exquisite etching that crackles with the power of a Midwestern storm. The text merely notes the time while the illustrations bestow the breathtaking experience of being everywhere at once as the landscape is dramatically transformed. Readers follow as the farmer's family pulls in bales of hay, with the cows looking up as lightning snaps a power line. Owls scatter as a twister tears apart the tree where they are nesting. Dense clouds form overhead as the family grabs the laundry from the line. In a climactic illustration, roofs, doors, fences, and trees hurl and spin in the cyclonic winds. After six hours, the storm has passed, leaving the locals to pick up the pieces-many, many pieces. Those who experience this astonishing book will have greater respect-awe, even-for thunderstorms and for those whose lives are so intensely affected by these phenomena.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Once again, Geisert displays his expertise in the art of copperplate etching. A sequence of rural scenes shows a storm and its effects, while a family drives through the countryside, hauling stacks of hay bales behind their red pickup truck. Often viewed from a distance, their seemingly random movements and the progress of the storm provide scattered hints of a story. The minimalist text begins, “SATURDAY AFTERNOON JULY 15 12:15 PM” and continues by simply identifying the time of day, from “12:20 PM” to “6:15 PM.” Artistically, there’s much to admire in the meticulously created etchings. The delicate watercolor tints bring the scenes to life, and the occasional cross-sectional views of house, barn, tree, and the earth itself will fascinate some children. Although the book’s broad double-page spreads and fine paper provide a showcase for the art, the confusing visual narrative will confound viewers who try to connect the images into a satisfying story line for children. Still, where Geisert’s books have a following, libraries will want to add this beautifully made volume to their collections Grades 1-3. --Carolyn Phelan