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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).
This is a tale of a boy who was gifted with his father's name, but who wants his own name and to not be regarded as his fathers little version. And that's the plot. Alexie's language is wonderful, capturing a young boy's cadences and thought sequences. And that's the magic of this marvelous short book. Oh, there are also exquisite drawings: detailed, evocative, fantastic. So visual and verbal magic!
Read this for yourself. And then read it for every child you know or can borrow. It's a wonder!