cover image Thunder Underground

Thunder Underground

Jane Yolen, illus. by Josée Masse. WordSong, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59078-936-0

Home to organisms, minerals, and buried treasure, the subterranean world is the subject of Yolen’s 21 poems, written in a variety of rhyming and nonrhyming forms. Masse’s crisp, gently textured mixed-media illustrations show a black girl and white boy imaginatively exploring what lurks beneath their feet, starting in the basement: “cables, pipes,/ the basic foundation,/ a storage,/ a story,/ the oldest page.” In subsequent poems, Yolen pays tributes to the natural (“Oh, to be an ant,/ neat, quiet, indifferent/ to anything but constant work”) and the man-made (“I like the sound the subway makes/ deep in its underground den”), as well as musing on lost cities, pirate treasure, and “magma pools/ Becoming rock/ When magma cools.” Blending creativity with scientific fact, Yolen’s poems appeal to readers’ imaginations and intellects alike. Ages 5–10. Author’s agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Mar.)