Set against inky black pages, Hines's beguiling tale resonates with the charged atmosphere of a thunderstorm. Even though a frightened lad recalls that ``Grandpa says it's all the people in heaven playing ninepins,'' the youngster and his dog come down with chronic insomnia as the thunder crashes outside. Indeed, deep-toned onomatopoetic words tumble across these pages above white text--``Rumble grumble''; ``Crackety Boom!''; ``Doom-ka-Bloomm!!'' After amusing familial negotatiation, a cozy foursome beds down together; pooch and boy find solace at last, but now Mommy and Daddy have second thoughts. Written in the first person, this upbeat story endearingly expresses a youngster's fears and wiles, as the narrator transfers his trepidation to Hercules: `` `It's me and Hercules,' I say. `He's afraid of the thunder.' '' Hines's darkly realistic, colored-pencil illustrations, highlighted with rich reds and purples, evoke the storm's menace while retaining a cozy indoors mood. Children may well recognize themselves in this towheaded scamp, and might just overcome a few fears of their own while rolling these rumbling noises trippingly off their tongues. Ages 3-up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1992 Release date: 08/01/1992 Genre: Children's
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