Thunder Rose

( 5 )

Overview

On a dark night of howling rain and booming thunder, Jackson and Millicent MacGruder welcome a new baby girl into their lives. Imagine their surprise when she sits up, thanks them for bringing her into the world, and informs them that she's quite partial to the name Rose.

So begins the story of Thunder Rose, who drinks her milk straight from the cow and prefers the company of her bull, Tater, to any kitten or puppy. Rose is capturing outlaws by the time she's a teenager, but she...

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Performed by: Lizan Mitchell 2004 Audiobook CD Unabridged Audiobook Very good in very good dust jacket. CD in great playing condition; fun listening entertainment; ex-library; ... CD comes in sturdy clam-shell case. Read more Show Less

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Overview

On a dark night of howling rain and booming thunder, Jackson and Millicent MacGruder welcome a new baby girl into their lives. Imagine their surprise when she sits up, thanks them for bringing her into the world, and informs them that she's quite partial to the name Rose.

So begins the story of Thunder Rose, who drinks her milk straight from the cow and prefers the company of her bull, Tater, to any kitten or puppy. Rose is capturing outlaws by the time she's a teenager, but she always has time to find joy in a song. Jerdine Nolen and Kadir Nelson have created a tall tale -- and a powerful new African American heroine -- to delight readers of all ages.

Unusual from the day she is born, Thunder Rose performs all sorts of amazing feats, including building fences, taming a stampeding herd of steers, capturing a gang of rustlers, and turning aside a tornado.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Coming into the world one stormy night, Thunder Rose, heroine of this original tall tale, is the first child "born free and easy" to her African-American parents, who (an author's note implies) have transplanted themselves from slavery in the South to settle the frontiers of the Old West. Rose demonstrates extraordinary talents even as a newborn: "She took hold of that lightning, rolled it into a ball, and set it above her shoulder, while the thunder echoed out over the other." She turns out to have an aptitude for bending wire and scrap metal; among other developments in this episodic narrative, Rose constructs a thunderbolt from scrap iron and invents barbed wire. Nolen's (Big Jabe, also illustrated by Nelson) kicky regional dialect is the high point here ("Right outside of Caldwell, that irascible, full-of-outrage-and-ire outlaw Jesse Baines and his gang of desperadoes tried to rustle that herd away from Rose.... [She] lassoed those hot-tempered hooligans up good and tight"). Unfortunately, her packed plot slows the rhythms of her fun writing style. Even for the tall tale genre, there is too much going on, and a message at the end, about the thunder in Rose's heart and what happens when she calls forth the music that resides there, makes for a rambling denouement. Throughout, Nelson's oil, watercolor and pencil compositions endow Rose's larger-than-life feats with verve. Notes of humor, warmth and rustic detail vie for attention in his bright-blue, big-sky scenes. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This original tale of a larger-than-life cowgirl heroine was constructed by the author to create a black folk tale of the Old West not "out of sorrow" as some from the past, but "out of love and joy." Born on a night of thunder and lightning, Thunder Rose soon shows that she can perform amazing feats of strength, bending metal to make her own thunderbolt, herding cattle, taming a gang of desperadoes. When drought threatens and she is challenged by a storm, she uses her power of song to "touch the heart of the clouds." Told with humor and a Western twang, Thunder Rose's story puts her up with Paul Bunyan and other legendary heroes. Nelson depicts her as a sassy, energetic youngster in oil, watercolor and pencil naturalistic illustrations, often seen from ground level to add stature to her adventures. Both people and cows are treated with respect; the "special effects" of the twister add real excitement. Perhaps we can expect further adventures in the future from this newly created folk heroine with genuine eye appeal. 2003, Silver Whistle/Harcourt, Ages 5 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Thunder Rose is an African-American child born on a stormy night abuzz with booming thunder, flashing lightning, and hailing rain. Her parents are awestruck by her remarkable gifts, which include forming a ball out of lightning, speaking in full sentences minutes after her birth, and snoring through a booming, thunderous rumble. It is clear that Rose is no ordinary child. She can lift a cow over her head and almost drink it dry, and as she grows, she does incredible metalwork with scraps of iron she finds around the ranch. She uses her handiwork to restrain cattle, round up would-be rustlers, and lasso and squeeze the rain out of the clouds. She fearlessly faces down a couple of tornadoes and calms them with her "song of thunder." Nolen and Nelson offer up a wonderful tale of joy and love, as robust and vivid as the wide West. The oil, watercolor, and pencil artwork is outstanding. A splendid, colorful, and most welcome addition to the tall-tale genre.-Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Nolen and Nelson offer a smaller, but no less gifted counterpart to Big Jabe (2000) in this new tall tale. Shortly after being born one stormy night, Rose thanks her parents, picks a name, and gathers lightning into a ball-all of which is only a harbinger of feats to come. Decked out in full cowboy gear and oozing self-confidence from every pore, Rose cuts a diminutive, but heroic figure in Nelson's big, broad Western scenes. Though she carries a twisted iron rod as dark as her skin and ropes clouds with fencing wire, Rose overcomes her greatest challenge-a pair of rampaging twisters-not with strength, but with a lullaby her parents sang. After turning tornadoes into much-needed rain clouds, Rose rides away, "that mighty, mighty song pressing on the bull's-eye that was set at the center of her heart." Throughout, she shows a reflective bent that gives her more dimension than most tall-tale heroes: a doff of the Stetson to her and her creators. (author's note) (Picture book. 7-9)
Chicago Tribune
"Kadir Nelson's illustrations...are terrific. Rose is just the right combination of tough little girl and superhero."
From the Publisher
"Exuberant . . . A terrific read-aloud."—Booklist
"A wonderful tale of joy and love, as robust and vivid as the wide West . . . A splendid, colorful, and most welcome addition to the tall-tale genre."—School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419331381
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 3/28/2011
  • Format: CD

Meet the Author

JERDINE NOLEN is the author of many beloved picture books, including Raising Dragons, which won the Christopher Award and was a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children. She lives in Maryland.

KADIR NELSON has illustrated many popular books for children, including Just the Two of Us by Will Smith and Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. He received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Ellington Was Not a Street by Notzake Shange. He lives in California.

 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

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2 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2008

    Excellent!

    Exciting!<BR/>A welcome story for all the sheroes out there!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2007

    Not enough like this one!

    My five year old loved this library loaned book so much she asked for her own copy for Christmas. We loved it so much that she got it. Her 2 year sister loves to listen to this book also. Hats off to Jerdine Nolen. Big Gabe is also a great tall tale. It is my plan to read Thunder Rose to my daughters Kindergarten class by command performance on her birthday.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2005

    a strong Thunder Rose

    Although the book is a bit wordy for the typical bedtime story, it's got a great strong little girl who takes on the world, politely and from the very moment she's born. Nice twist on a new story in the tradition of classic tall tales. Best yet, it's taken the kids' fear out of thunder storms - they shout out Hello Thunder Rose!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    Great Tall Tale!

    A new twist in the world of Tall Tales. Students love the story and the illustrations. Great to use in the classroom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2005

    Too Much Wind Not Enough Thunder

    The author takes what could be an exciting tale of a young, strong minded and strong bodied cowgirl and turns it into a rambling story filled with long winded descriptions. The use of the scrap iron and Rose¿s music throughout the story is forced and often senseless. I read this story to many children and they seemed to get lost in the wordiness of the story. Their comments in the end were that the story is confusing and boring. The pictures, however, in this story are beautiful, and the illustrator gives the reader a feel for the bright, bold landscapes of the Old West.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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