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THUNDER-BOOMER! by Shutta Crum Kirkus Star


by Shutta Crum and illustrated by Carol Thompson

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: June 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-618-61865-1
Publisher: Clarion

A little girl’s lazy summer day quickly turns soggy when a violent thunderstorm drenches their family farm. Scurrying to shelter, they tear laundry from the clothesline and coop their fussing chickens along the way. With unrelenting ferocity, rain pours in and hail pounds down as her father frets over the likely damage. After the thunder-boomer subsides, the daughter receives an unlikely surprise when her favorite hen leads her to an orphaned kitten. Vivid imagery and Thompson’s innovative mixed-media art that incorporates textual sound effects naturally reflect the weather’s dramatic ebb and flow. The child’s engaging first-person voice propels the account of the storm. “Gusting rain pelts the roof. The maple’s branches brush and wump against the walls.” The sky’s rumble is reflected in dynamic phrases lettered against the dark storm clouds. Watercolor, gouache, pastels and crayons smoothly combine to depict the outburst’s unyielding power; colored splashes speckle the muddy mess. Powerful lines and thick, swaying strokes vary shading with dramatic emphasis. Intermittent collage patches subtly enhance the textured scenes, providing a wildly successful sanctuary from this soaking storm. (Picture book. 4-8)