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|Thunder Boy Jr|
Author: Alexie, Sherman
Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal name ... one that's all his own. Dad is known as Big Thunder, but Little Thunder doesn't want to share a name.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 182877
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.40
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 68801
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/15/16)
School Library Journal (02/01/16)
Booklist (+) (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (06/16)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/01/2016 *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—Old Toys Are Awesome—and powwow dancing—Drums, 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—check 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—replacing a child’s name—that 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. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 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 - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 “Thunder Boy is not a normal name,” says our distressed narrator, who is his father’s namesake. The moniker doesn’t work for Thunder Boy Jr., though: “People call me Little Thunder. That nickname makes me sound like a burp or a fart.” Much as he loves his dad, he wants his own name, and he dreams of various possibilities. He is therefore thrilled when his father understands his son’s dilemma and gives him a new name, Lightning (“My dad and I will light up the sky”). 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. A note explains the inspirations for Morales’ digital line and color illustrations; the smooth lines are softly organic in their curves, while the deft use of textures gives depth to the earthtoned elements. Even with the boy’s complaint, this is a joyous portrait of a family, with the visual motifs of a big red ball and a colorful painted guitar running through the spreads, and both Mom and Dad have some flair (Mom rides a motorcycle, for instance) as well as thoroughly enjoying their children. Plenty of kids will recognize the shared-name dilemma, and even those free of the anxiety of name influence will recognize Lightning’s jubilance at being recognized and understood by his father: “My dad read my mind! My dad read my heart!” DS - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.