cover image Boom! Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog

Boom! Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog

Mary Lyn Ray, illus. by Steven Salerno. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-6238-4

A (usually) brave puppy and her young owner demonstrate their strategy for coping with a common fear in this reassuring story. Rosie, a tiny white dog, typically struts her stuff, unafraid of the vacuum cleaner, mail carriers, sirens, or even taking a bath. But thunder has her running for cover: “When a storm began to rumble, this small dog who was usually a brave dog wasn’t.” When the weather wails, “the boy she knew best” tries to soothe her, to no avail (“The boy tried singing songs. But there was no comfort in a song”). Eventually, he leads Rosie to a safe retreat where they cuddle together and wait out the storm. Ray’s (Stars) gentle, poetic language has a calming rhythm itself, and readers will easily see that her observations of canine behavior are equally applicable to children. Salerno’s (Brothers at Bat) mixed-media compositions feature willowy lines and splashes of color and texture. The vintage aesthetic evokes small-town life in a simpler era, while enormous typographical “booms” and “cracks” bring to life the ferocity of the storm. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. (June)