A thrilling, inspiring tale of bravery and family.




A young elephant must reconnect with his herd and face his fears in this middle-grade novel.

Thunder, an African pygmy elephant, lives with his mother and the rest of his tribe in Africa. Every day, the tribe wanders through the savannah looking for food while Thunder and his friends play. The young elephant is particularly close to his mother, who teaches him all he needs to know, including how to communicate and act within the herd and how to protect himself from dangers that surround him—especially the “Uprights,” which is what elephants call humans. He leads a happy life until a poacher named Drago decides that he wants the elephants—and the rest of their animal friends—for himself. Drago captures some of them, but when his vehicle crashes, Thunder and a parrot named Penelope escape. The terrified Thunder misses his loved ones, but Soma, a tough-as-nails rhino, offers to help, and they all set off on a quest to find Thunder’s herd. Of course, it’s not easy, as weather and other wild beasts make the journey difficult; also, Drago is still set on capturing as many beasts as possible. Will Thunder make it back to his mother, or will Drago destroy his herd before he can find it? Shein and Reker (The Forgotten Ornament, 2012, etc.) paint quite a harrowing picture at times; Thunder’s quest is a stressful one, and some children may feel overwhelmed if they read it all in one sitting. That being said, the whole book is a lesson in perseverance and determination, which readers of all ages could stand to learn. The prose is thick with lovely descriptions of Thunder’s home and the various places he visits, and his fears will be relatable to the younger set. The story is also a great introduction to the concept of preserving the planet and its species. In a wonderful touch, an appendix gives contact information for a variety of organizations that are trying to stop the practice of poaching and protect the environment. Hopefully, this work will inspire young and old readers alike to do their parts to help save the beautiful creatures of Africa.

A thrilling, inspiring tale of bravery and family.

Pub Date: March 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62989-563-5

Page Count: 222

Publisher: World Castle Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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