Thunder Boy Jr.
Thunder Boy Jr.
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Annotation: Named after his father, a young boy despairs of finding a name that is all his own, until he and his dad discover the perfect one.
Catalog Number: #5787491
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Morales, Yuyi,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-01372-2
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-01372-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015020263
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
School Library Journal Starred Review
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
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Thunder Boy Smith Jr. hates his name. The Native American boy is named after his father, whose nickname is Big Thunder. Thunder Boy Jr. says his nickname, Little Thunder, makes him "sound like a burp or a fart." Little Thunder loves his dad, but he longs for a name that celebrates something special about him alone. He muses, "I love playing in the dirt, so maybe my name should be Mud in His Ears.…I love powwow dancing. I'm a grass dancer. So maybe my name should be Drums, Drums, and More Drums!" Little Thunder wonders how he can express these feelings to his towering father. However, he need not worry. Big Thunder knows that the time has come for his son to receive a new name, one as vibrant as his blossoming personality. Morales' animated mixed-media illustrations, reminiscent of her Pura Belpré Award-winning work in Niño Wrestles the World (2013), masterfully use color and perspective to help readers see the world from Little Thunder's point of view. His admiration of his dad is manifest in depictions of Big Thunder as a gentle giant of a man. The otherwise-muted palette bursts with color as Thunder Boy Jr. proudly enumerates the unique qualities and experiences that could inspire his new name. An expertly crafted, soulful, and humorous work that tenderly explores identity, culture, and the bond between father and son. (Picture book. 4-7)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Thunder Boy, an adorable American Indian tyke in rolled-up yellow overalls, is named after his father, and he hates it! Not because it's not a normal name or because he doesn't like his father, though; he wants a name that better reflects who he is. On energetic pages in bold, brassy color, Thunder Boy tries to pick a more suitable name. He climbed a mountain once, so how about Touch the Clouds? He likes garage sales d Toys Are Awesome d powwow dancing ums, Drums, and More Drums! Luckily, his dad catches on and offers the perfect suggestion: Lightning. Morales' playful figures, rendered in thick brushstrokes and appealingly rounded shapes, fizz with movement against textured scenes with pops of neon, while fantastic background details enliven the atmosphere eck out Thunder Boy's mom on a cool motorbike, and his pudgy sister exuberantly playing along. While the effervescent illustrations and boisterous tone are dynamite on their own, Alexie and Morales' story offers a breezy, matter-of-fact introduction to a tradition placing a child's name at will likely be new to many readers. Even if little ones don't pick up on the cultural significance, they will be entranced by the brilliant illustrations and Thunder Boy's rollicking determination to branch out on his own. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Alexie and Morales would be big draws on their own; together, they just might be unstoppable.
Word Count: 518
Reading Level: 2.5
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 182877 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.4 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q68801
Lexile: AD420L

From New York Times bestselling author Sherman Alexie and Caldecott Honor winning Yuyi Morales comes a striking and beautifully illustrated picture book celebrating the special relationship between father and son.

Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal that's all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn't want to share a name. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Little Thunder thinks all hope is lost, dad picks the best name...Lightning! Their love will be loud and bright, and together they will light up the sky.

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