Legend of Thunderfoot

Legend of Thunderfoot

4.5 4
by Bill Wallace
     
 

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The day of the Naming is an important one for young roadrunners. That's when roadrunner parents judge the speed, courage, and hunting skill of their offspring and choose fitting names for them.

One proud fledgling dreams of being named Muscles, or Dash, or even Hunter. If only he hadn't pursued those three juicy grasshoppers for a final snack. If only he'd

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Overview

The day of the Naming is an important one for young roadrunners. That's when roadrunner parents judge the speed, courage, and hunting skill of their offspring and choose fitting names for them.

One proud fledgling dreams of being named Muscles, or Dash, or even Hunter. If only he hadn't pursued those three juicy grasshoppers for a final snack. If only he'd remembered his parents' lesson: "Always look before you leap." If only he'd paid more attention to the mouse family that had lost two children to a nearby snake. If only the rattler had given some warning before it struck....

Miraculously, the young roadrunner survives the attack, but not without damage. With their son's feet swollen to such an enormous size, his parents have no choice but to give him the humiliating name of Thunderfoot.

It's enough to make a roadrunner wallow in self-pity and give up. But the only thing bigger than Thunderfoot's feet is his heart, and with some not always gentle goading from a wise old gopher tortoise named Berland, he finds the courage to go forward and seek his destiny — and to become the stuff of legends.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A thoroughly engaging tale."

School Library Journal

"A light, adventurous, and briskly paced animal fantasy."

Booklist

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Thunder of the Foote Clan of roadrunners is lucky—or unlucky—enough to be bitten by a rattlesnake and survive, leaving him with formerly fleet feet swollen to a huge size. His life becomes one challenge after another to surmount this handicap. Thunder is chivvied out of his negative attitude time after time by his friend Berland, a venerable gopher tortoise, until the young roadrunner's exploits become legendary. Bill Wallace, the equally venerable teller of animal tales/fables, obviously becomes the sage voice of Berland in this latest of his prodigious output. In this role Wallace sets up Thunder just like the Little Engine That Could, slowly turning Thunder's "I can'ts" into "I can." The book is heavy duty on lessons and moralizing, but kids will probably ignore most of these as they cheer Thunder along. Who couldn't fall for a roadrunner who learns to run faster than any other, fly higher than any other (while transporting a large rock, yet), win skirmishes with coyotes and bobcats, end up with the right girl, and live happily ever after?
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-The old story of an outcast who triumphs over adversity gets a desert wildlife reworking here, and the result is a thoroughly engaging tale. The young roadrunner had everything going for him. He was going to earn his new name and become a full-fledged adult. However, when he is bitten on the feet by a baby rattlesnake, he has reason to believe that his life is essentially over. He does survive, though, and his parents name him Thunderfoot for his permanently gigantic feet, and he feels like a freak of nature. Fortunately, he is soon galvanized into action by a clever gopher tortoise, causing him to prove himself not just to the other roadrunners, but to the world as well. Thunderfoot begins as a cocky young ne'er-do-well, maturing believably into a worldly bird. It's a relief to read a book in the animal point-of-view style that offers engaging dialogue, action, and plot without relying on old tropes. This chapter book would make a good introductory title for those kids who might also enjoy Erin Hunter's "Warriors" series (HarperCollins) or Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing (S & S, 1997).-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416906919
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
10/10/2006
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun.
One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.
Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story.
Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

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