cover image Dinosaur Thunder

Dinosaur Thunder

Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-590-45296-0

What do we talk about when we talk about thunder? In Brannon’s family, it depends on who’s trying to ease the boy’s anxieties during a noisy storm. Daddy says thunder is “a big cat purring.” Grandma goes old school, reassuring him: “It’s only the angels bowling in heaven.” But these comparisons aren’t quite enough comfort until Brannon’s older brother comes up with an example that taps into Brannon’s sense of competence: “That thunder is only dinosaurs stomping around. And you know about dinosaurs.” Sure enough, fear is trumped by a sense of mastery—at least the kid version of it, which means the ability to name and categorize various dinosaurs with aplomb. Hats off to Bauer (In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb) for turning an emotional truth into a joyful, triumphant story. And thunderous applause for Chodos-Irvine (Light Up the Night), who contributes her best and most elaborate collages to date, alternating scenes of cozy domesticity with Wagnerian visions of what’s happening in the heavens above. Ages 3–5. Agent: Ruben Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (May)