BOOM!: Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog

BOOM!: Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog

by Mary Lyn Ray, Steven Salerno

A lovable dog who isn't afraid of anything suddenly finds herself feeling rather unbrave when she hears thunder. Beautifully written, this charming picture book addresses a common fear in an accessible way and introduces readers to a great new puppy protagonist with humor and charm.


A lovable dog who isn't afraid of anything suddenly finds herself feeling rather unbrave when she hears thunder. Beautifully written, this charming picture book addresses a common fear in an accessible way and introduces readers to a great new puppy protagonist with humor and charm.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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)
Children's Literature - Anne Pechnyo
Rosie was a small dog, but she tried her hardest to be brave, just like the boy who owns her. She was not afraid of imaginary things in books, or of sirens or baths or the vacuum cleaner. But she was afraid of one very real thing: thunder. When a storm started, her owner tried to comfort her. And Rosie tried to comfort herself, by closing her eyes and crawling under or inside of anything she could find. But even if she could not see it, the sky could still see her! Readers and listeners will enjoy discovering how Rosie and her owner survived the thunderstorm and how Rosie was able to find her courage once again. Salerno's bright illustrations support Ray's text and add meaning to the written words. The thunder is personified in a way that readers and listeners will understand, and children with any fear of thunderstorms will find comfort in this relatable story. Reviewer: Anne Pechnyo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Rosie considers herself a brave dog. After all, she does everything that her little boy does. She's not afraid of the cat or any fearsome animals she's seen in books. Even loud noises like sirens don't frighten her. And the scariest thing of all for dogs-the bath-doesn't even faze her. But one clap of thunder will sent her scuttling for somewhere she will feel safe. It is only when her boy wraps her in his arms and cuddles her that Rosie feels completely secure. Just as the pup learns how to deal with thunder, so will young children who share the same concern. The trim size echoes the largeness of the thunder versus the tininess of the dog, and the relatively soft tones even when the storm is at its wildest make this potentially scary experience appear surmountable. Pair this book with Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake (Philomel, 1990) to see how a grandmother helps a child deal with her fear of thunder.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Addressing the fears children have of severe weather is a parenting rite of passage, and this book tackles astraphobia with a small dog named Rosie. "Although Rosie was a small dog, she was usually very brave--just like the boy she knew best." She isn't afraid of tigers or orangutans or garbage collectors or even fire trucks. Not even of shadows at night. But, like many dogs (and children), she is afraid of thunder. An approaching storm sends the pup scurrying under rugs and inside a sock. Illustrator Salerno creates a breezy, retro feel reminiscent of classic Curious George illustrations. Broad brush strokes and scratchy textures in a subdued palette convey energy and emotion as the storm approaches. Sounds are written in enormous angry type across the pages. Like a parent comforting a child, the young boy tries to help his frightened dog. He tries treats and singing and even imagination to explain the noise away. Nothing helps. As a last resort, the boy takes little Rosie to a safe place and curls up on his bed with the dog. And they wait for the storm to pass, together. As there is no logical way to explain away fears, facing frightening things with someone you love is the best remedy out there. Though not particularly creative, this back-to-basics approach will appeal to straightforward, no-nonsense thinkers--and who is going to refuse a little comfort? (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 11.62(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Lyn Ray has published eleven picture books including Stars, Pumpkins, and Mud. Almost all of her books have received starred reviews and various commendations, and as well as inclusion on best-of-the-year lists. Her most recent book, New York Times Bestseller Stars, received the Booklist Editors' Choice, Bulletin Blue Ribbon, and four starred reviews from publishing journals.

Steven Salerno is the illustrator of eighteen picture books for children, including Brothers at Bat, Mrs. Wow Never Wanted a Cow, Pantaloon, and Bebe Goes Shopping. He has illustrated the words of famous authors Margaret Wise Brown and Bill Martin Jr. Steve's whimsical illustrations have also appeared in magazines, newspapers, and advertisements for such clients as The New Yorker, American Express, The Wall Street Journal, Coca Cola, The New York Times, Barnes & Noble, Microsoft, and IBM.

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