Illustrated by: Yuyi Morales
Published by: Little Brown
Released on: May 10th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4.5 Owlets - We Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
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A copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.
But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.
National Book Award-winner Sherman Alexie's lyrical text and Caldecott Honor-winner Yuyi Morales's striking and beautiful illustrations celebrate the special relationship between father and son.
What's in a name? Well a lot of things are. A name is important. It's something that identifies who we are. Sometimes names have a sacred meaning. They can also be passed down from generation to generation. Thunder Boy Jr.'s name is. He's named after his dad.
Thunder Boy Jr is having a hard time with his name. He doesn't like it. He wants a name that's all his own. He loves his dad, and his dad's name, and he doesn't want to disrespect his dad by telling him how he feels. He thinks up a variety of names he could have. Names he identifies with. While Thunder Boy Jr. doesn't want to disrespect his family, his family loves him no matter what. His dad has a surprise for him.
Sherman Alexie once again proves his diverse talent for writing children's literature. I love that we get to see the importance of the sacred naming traditions, as well as meet a character who's learning to embrace both his cultural and who he is. This story, and it's message are both wonderfully written.
THUNDER BOY JR. couldn't have had a more perfect pairing between author and illustrator. Yuyi Morales brings this book to life effortlessly. I love the native artwork, and the way it captures this story. I have always loved and admired the Native American cultural, and I appreciate the way Alexi and Morales bring this beautiful and sacred cultural to life in this book. There needs to be more children's book like this in the world.