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Thunder Boy Jr. (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) Hardcover – May 10, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—An enchanting and humorous picture book about a little boy frustrated with his name. Readers are drawn into the story narrated by Little Thunder, who is named after his father, Big Thunder. He works through his angst at the indignity of the name, presenting his case like a seasoned lawyer as he goes in search of a better, cooler moniker like Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth or Touch the Clouds. The dialogue is humorous yet profound in the simple truths it imparts. His dad eventually helps him find the perfect name. Morales uses vibrant colors and textures to bring this joyful American Indian father and son to life. Collage elements and mixed media lend the artwork an almost three-dimensional effect. This has all of the qualities of a classic story like Goodnight Moon and is destined to be a modern classic, with youngsters wanting repeated readings. VERDICT Highly recommended for all picture book collections.—Naomi Caldwell, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL
"Together [Sherman and Morales] deliver a story that feels both modern and timeless, a joyous portrait of one boy's struggle to (literally) make a name for himself in the world."―The New York Times Book Review
* "An enchanting and humorous picture book....This has all of the qualities of a classic story like Goodnight Moon and is destined to be a modern classic, with youngsters wanting repeated readings."―School Library Journal, starred review
* "Even if little one don't pick up on the cultural significance, they'll be entranced by the brilliant illustrations and Thunder Boy's rollicking determination to branch out on his own."―Booklist, starred review
* "Echoes of Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian resonate in this vibrant first-person tale....Thunder Boy's energy is irresistible, as is this expansive portrait of a Native American family."―Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Despite the dad-pleasing message, the book is too funny and real to veer into parental self-congratulation, and Morales's illustrations give great life and specificity to Thunder Boy's Lightning's family."―Horn Book, starred review
* "An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son."―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Alexie demonstrates his familiar gift for storytelling, using seemingly uncomplicated language to tell a layered and emotional story that retains tension despite being full of love. Even with this boy's complaint, this is a joyous portrait of a family."―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
Top customer reviews
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Yuyi's illustrations are dynamic and wonderfully colorful, with subtle emotional elements telling their own story as well. The background of every page contains shades and patterns of gray, alluding to an all-encompassing storm that Thunder Boy, Jr compares to his father's presence. Every page has motion and texture and little surprises, which make the story and the art an engaging read.
Overall, this book was beautifully done and a great book for children learning to be their own person and for the parents who just want them to flourish. To see a more in-depth review, watch the video here from our blog, Mondays with Mandy or Mira where you can also discover other fabulous children's books.
To learn much more about children's books visit us at the Children's Book Academy (childrensbookacademy.com).
Amazing, amazing, amazing. Alexie proves here that he can write for children with a voice that is clear and resonant. He writes almost like a poem, one that dances and moves. There is not a classic structure to the book, which makes it a treat to read. One isn’t quite sure where it is going to head next. There is the whimsical part there Thunder Boy is thinking of new names that shows again and again the actual power of his real name. Then his father steps in, showing his son that he understands him and builds upon the name he has been given. It is a book that takes you on a journey and by the end ties it all together.
Morales’ illustrations are luminous. She captures the emotions clearly with characters who pop against calm patterned backgrounds. The characters shine with an internal light that is very compelling. On every page, parenting with warmth and love is shown, just like it is in the story itself.
A powerful and beautiful picture book that respects modern American Indian culture and families. This book belongs in every library. Appropriate for ages 3-5.