THUNDER BOY JR. by Sherman Alexie
Kirkus Star

THUNDER BOY JR.

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

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)

Pub Date: May 10th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-316-01372-7
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2016




THE 2016 KIRKUS PRIZE FINALISTS :

FictionIMAGINE ME GONE by Adam Haslett
by Adam Haslett
FictionCAROUSEL COURT by Joe McGinniss Jr.
by Joe McGinniss Jr.
FictionTHE SPORT OF KINGS by C.E. Morgan
by C.E. Morgan
FictionBARKSKINS by Annie Proulx
by Annie Proulx

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for WRITER, SAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for IN THIS GRAVE HOUR
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for OUT OF WONDER
VERDICT:
BUY IT

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

AdultHAPPY TO BE NAPPY by bell hooks
by bell hooks
ChildrenYOKO WRITES HER NAME by Rosemary Wells
by Rosemary Wells