Thundercluck!

Paul Tillery IV, illus. by Tillery and Meg Wittwer. Roaring Brook, $14.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-15528-3
Feathers—and humor—fly freely in this series launch, a farce lightly based on Norse mythology. Thundercluck is a chick with magical powers. He hatched from an egg that was laid by Thor’s treasured hen, Hennda, who was struck by a lightning bolt summoned by the god during a heated argument with his chef, Bones, who had long sought to dine on the chicken. Bones vanishes, but a seer, Saga, portends his return in one of her jauntily rhymed predictions and reveals that the villain is now craving Thundercluck. A young Valkyrie, Brunhilde, takes the chick under her wing and is heartbroken when the gods whisk her friend off to Earth for protection. Brunhilde is eventually sent to fetch him, and the two (sporting matching horned helmets) take a comedic whirlwind tour of the nine realms on a quest to retrieve Thundercluck’s lost powers and best the nefarious chef. Tillery dishes out bountiful allusions and wordplay both smart and silly (“It’s a chicken wrap,” Brunhilde quips when Thor disguises Thundercluck with his cape), and his note that the novel began as an animated short does not surprise, given its chirpy dialogue, rat-a-tat action, and spry illustrations. Ages 8–12. (Oct.) Correction: A previous version of this review misstated Thundercluck's gender.
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 09/18/2018
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-22965-6
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-250-21147-7
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