In this perceptively illustrated take on a common theme, an older brother’s comment does more than all the supposed comfort offered by grownups to dispel a child’s fear of thunder.
“When lightning flares / in the faraway sky / and clouds growl like lions waking…” Using elevated language, Bauer describes little Brannon’s terror in measured tones as approaching rumbles send him under the bed, then into a closet and finally burrowing into a chest of toys. His father claims that the noise is “only a big cat purring,” his grandma that it’s angels bowling and grandpa makes a remark about clouds bumping together. Their suggestions just make it worse, as in Chodos-Irvine’s multimedia monoprints the pajama-clad tyke envisions a gigantic cat springing from the clouds with a feral glare and other violent scenarios. Then brother Chad whispers that it’s only dinosaurs stomping around, and that does the trick. Instead of towering figures of menace, the clouded sky fills with huge, amiable looking dinos whose names Brannon reels off with delight. By the end the two sibs are cavorting in a “dinosaur thunder dance” in the middle of the room.
This book’s big brother provides just the ticket for riding out scary times. (Picture book. 3-6)