Berger's (All the Way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet) winsome tale introduces a bunny born blue, who's part archetype, part preschooler. Thunder Bunny is different, all right. Old Granny says that Thunder Bunny "came out of the blue," and when the heroine avows "I came from the sky," her siblings scoff. This precipitates an adventure aloft. Thunder Bunny connects with the natural elements that perennially pique children's curiosity-wind, clouds, thunder and lightning, sun and moon. While brave Thunder Bunny rides the raging storm, proclaiming (in crystal-clear homage to Sendak's In the Night Kitchen), "I am the blue and the blue is me!" her family "huddled and cuddled" below in a warren carved out of the hillside. Realizing that Thunder Bunny is missing, her family hunts for her, and sees "up on the hill... a glorious rabbit." As a result of her transformative quest, Thunder Bunny, with a sun aglow on her breast and a crescent moon nestled in her left ear, is now "a sun and moon bunny,/ clear and true and out of the blue,/ the blue that is always there, no matter what." Berger's pictures combine cut-paper and collage bunnies, sweetly rendered in pale pastels, with larger, torn paper elements that suggest the sky, clouds, a meadow and rain. The fluidly distilled text-with its occasional near rhyme, a child's perspective and resonant phrases such as "a cloud billowed up" and "not a whiffle of wind"-is just right. Ages 4-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Sara Lorimer
Thunder Bunny was a surprise. While all the other bunnies in the litter are tan, Thunder Bunny is a pleasant shade of French blue. She was the last and littlest one but can flick her ears and jump and thump and dig in the dirt like all the others. She is a little different from her siblings, though. Well of course, said old Granny, she came out of the blue. Thunder Bunny takes this to mean she is from the sky. The other bunnies do not believe her, but when a strong wind comes rushing over the grass and the other bunnies run to hide, Thunder Bunny jumps on the wind and is carried up into the sky (this is not told in a frightening manner, by the way). She digs into a cloud and is a little scared, but then remembers that "I am the blue and the blue is me!" She stomps her feet and starts a thunderstorm. Mama and the other bunnies head out to find her, afraid that she is wet and lonely in the rain. When they see her on a hillside, she is now a sun and moon bunny, clear and true and out of the blue and now has a sun glowing on her chest and a moon on her ear. The bunnies are all happy to see her, and they happily cuddle together on the hill. This story reads in a good waylike a folktale but without a didactic ending. The pastel illustrations are done by collage and work very well with the story. It is possible to read larger lessons into this about accepting who you are, bravery, etc. but it is more fun to just read it as a book about a little blue bunny that climbs into the sky and then comes back home. It would make an excellent bedtime story.
School Library Journal
A sky-blue bunny wonders why she is different from her more traditionally colored siblings. Her gray granny explains that "she came out of the blue." A strong breeze begins to blow, and while the other rabbits run to their burrow to hide, Thunder Bunny jumps on the wind and lets it carry her high into the sky. When the clouds darken and block her way, she begins to dig a tunnel through them. Momentarily frightened by the rumble of thunder, she finds courage in repeating her earlier exuberant proclamation, "I am the blue and the blue is me." After the storm, she rejoins her family, now transformed into a radiant "sun and moon bunny," with a celestial image emblazoned on her chest. Berger's glowing, softly colored palette is perfectly suited to the subject matter. The torn-paper technique adds texture and drama, especially to the clouds. Children will enjoy the lovely illustrations, but the story may be unclear to them.
Robin L. GibsonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Thunder Bunny, the youngest bunny in the bunch, came "out of the blue," as her own granny states, and is the color of the sky on a clear spring day. Different from her brown siblings, she begins to search for answers to her uniqueness, finally concluding, "I came from the sky." With a "jump on the wind," she is carried through a thunderstorm up to the sun and moon, returning back to the meadow not "only a bunny now . . . a sun and moon bunny, / clear and true out of the blue." Thunder Bunny has physically changed with a glorious yellow halo on her chest, signifying . . . what? Berger leaves a very open-ended situation in this bizarre, esoteric story, which provides an inexplicable and unsatisfying conclusion to a common theme of sporting self-confidence and self-esteem in spite of being different. Berger's beautifully soft pastels on torn and cut paper add a pleasing aesthetic quality, but on the whole, the reader is left as baffled as the bunnies with mama exclaiming, "Oh, my." (Picture book. 4-6)