Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm

5.0 1
by Arthur Geisert
     
 

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Thunderstorm follows the course of a storm through midwestern farm country minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, from late morning into late afternoon. As always with Arthur Geisert, it is a meticulously executed and visually stunning piece of work. Other than the timeline that runs along the bottom border of the illustrations, there is no text, and the

Overview

Thunderstorm follows the course of a storm through midwestern farm country minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, from late morning into late afternoon. As always with Arthur Geisert, it is a meticulously executed and visually stunning piece of work. Other than the timeline that runs along the bottom border of the illustrations, there is no text, and the illustrations are continuous.

Through keen observation, Geisert beautifully captures the nuances and details of a midwestern thunderstorm, from the ever-changing color of the sky, to the actions of the human inhabitants, to the reactions of the natural world to the wind and rain. America's heartland is somewhat unfamiliar territory in the realm of picture books, but in Thunderstorm, Geisert has provided readers with valuable, breathtaking insight into one of its most natural occurrences.

Arthur Geisert grew up in Los Angeles, California, and claims not to have seen a pig until he was an adult. Trained as a sculptor in college, Geisert learned to etch at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Geisert has published just about a book a year for the past thirty years. Every one of his books has been illustrated with etchings. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Horn Book Magazine. In 2010 his book Ice was selected as a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated book of the year. Geisert currently lives in a converted bank building in Bernard, Iowa.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Carolyn Juris
[Geisert's] trademark copperplate etchings, tinged with watercolors, lend a timeless feel to his slice-of-life illustrations…each page's abundant details invite lingering and repeated visits…Geisert allows the storm to do real damage, but he also shows the community getting to work once the skies clear, determined to set things right.
Publishers Weekly
Geisert uses his trademark, closely hatched etchings to render the power and destructive potential of a Midwestern thunderstorm, approaching the topic and setting with the same seriousness of purpose seen in his Country Road ABC (2010). The spreads—more correctly, one continuous spread, as close inspection of contiguous page edges shows—begin with rolling farmland scenes as approaching clouds darken some areas while others remain clear. Cutaway views show the interiors of buildings and, in the ground below, the burrows of rabbits and foxes. The story follows a single farming family driving a red pickup truck hauling a trailer-load of hay; timestamps (“3:00 pm”) are the only text. The family’s roof starts leaking after the thunderstorm passes, but they venture out for another delivery, only to see a tornado churning in the distance. They take shelter under a bridge as the tornado descends on a neighboring farm, inflicting major damage. In the aftermath, helpers tarp the roofs and mop up. With multiple lightning strikes and twister touchdowns, the story is dramatic, though at times difficult to track. Nonetheless, Geisert has produced an ambitious and beautiful series of etchings. Ages 4–up. (May)
From the Publisher
"Masterfully, [Geisert] captures the shifting light as thunderheads build, rain sheets and the night-dark storm moves through. Though children might need some reassurance, this beautifully nuanced meditation on the power of nature—and community resilience—will reward repeat readings."— STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"Geisert has produced an ambitious and beautiful series of etchings."—Publishers Weekly

"This is a tightly focused examination of Man facing off with Nature, and Geisert's signature deployment of minutiae is strictly in the service of documenting the mind-boggling flurry of activity that accompanies a typical Midwestern weather event (his signature pigs, along with a host of other animals, appear as they hunker down before the storm). Science teachers with a little imagination, a doc cam, and a projector can mount an applause-worthy kick-off for a meteorology unit." — The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books, June 2013

“This sweet book takes an interesting and educational look at a very real part of nature: thunderstorms and high, damaging winds. Its premise may be a bit scary for the very young (I know storms terrified me when I was young!), but they will surely take comfort from the images they see of both the people and the animals that seek shelter from the storm. They show the comfort, safety and togetherness of being with family and friends in times like these. They also show the strength of the people (and animals) who come out of their hiding places to rebuild their lives.” – New York Journal of Books

“This is a celebration of the power of nature and the way that light changes through the course of a storm. Geisert mixes in plenty of action and the tension of a family at risk.” – Waking Brain Cells

“Geisert allows the storm to do real damage, but he also shows the community getting to work once the skies clear, determined to set things right.” – The New York Times

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
With only the date and changing time for text, Geisert takes us masterfully across double pages from Saturday afternoon, July 15 at 12:15 PM to 6:15 PM to experience the approach, arrival, terrible destruction, and final clearing of a powerful thunderstorm. On the jacket/cover a truck is being loaded and rain is in the distance. More clouds gather as we see the family in the truck observe a lightning strike. We can also see animals inside their holes in the ground or trees. At 12:55 the hay is being unloaded into the barn. At 1:08 a tornado shatters a tree; by 1:40 the rain is pouring down. Inside, the family's house begins to leak. The truck takes off again as it clears, but then another tornado touches down. Shelter is sought; by 4:30 destruction is everywhere and the clean-up begins. Geisert's distinctive detailed naturalistic hand-colored etchings clearly depict the farm, animals, plantings, buildings, and family as the storm destroys crops, buildings, and even large trees. When the dark skies ultimately clear, the family gets to work restoring what has been shattered and life goes on. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 5—Thunderstorm raises talking about the weather to an art form. Each generously sized spread is an exquisite etching that crackles with the power of a Midwestern storm. The text merely notes the time while the illustrations bestow the breathtaking experience of being everywhere at once as the landscape is dramatically transformed. Readers follow as the farmer's family pulls in bales of hay, with the cows looking up as lightning snaps a power line. Owls scatter as a twister tears apart the tree where they are nesting. Dense clouds form overhead as the family grabs the laundry from the line. In a climactic illustration, roofs, doors, fences, and trees hurl and spin in the cyclonic winds. After six hours, the storm has passed, leaving the locals to pick up the pieces-many, many pieces. Those who experience this astonishing book will have greater respect-awe, even-for thunderstorms and for those whose lives are so intensely affected by these phenomena.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A powerful summer storm careens through a Midwestern farming community in six hours, leaving an uneven wake of destruction. Geisert's pictures (wordless except for selected times of day) incorporate vast expanses of sky and earth. Intricate cross sections show the interiors of houses, barns and animal homes. As the storm builds, fox families take to their dens, and rabbits hie to their warrens. A lightning strike cuts off power at 12:15 p.m.; roiling funnel clouds fell trees and pulverize a farmstead on the horizon. A family in a red pickup towing a trailer of baled hay makes deliveries, stopping to help elders prepare. When the truck breaks down, it's towed and repaired--but the family must shelter under a stone bridge for the worst of the storm. The next spread is the story's most dramatic--a flash flood sweeps through, propelling house parts, uprooted trees, fences, a tire swing and more. It takes two tense page turns before readers know that the community's inhabitants are intact: They've all gathered to repair the house and barn of hard-hit neighbors. Geisert's meticulous line compositions are etched onto copperplate, inked and hand-colored. Masterfully, he captures the shifting light as thunderheads build, rain sheets and the night-dark storm moves through. Though children might need some reassurance, this beautifully nuanced meditation on the power of nature--and community resilience--will reward repeat readings. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592701339
Publisher:
Enchanted Lion Books
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
737,828
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 12.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning children's book author Arthur Geisert has been creating etchings and hand-painting them in watercolor for picture books for over thirty years. Geisert grew up in LA and learned to etch at the Otis Art Institute.

Geisert's work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Horn Book Magazine. In 2010, his book ICEwas selected as a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. It was the third time that his work was honored with the New York Times Award. While Geisert's books have been a big hit with children and adults alike, his work has also been recognized within the art world. He has exhibited his meticulous, lavishly detailed, hand-colored etchings at the Art Institute of Chicago and his work is in the collections of several different museums. Geisert currently lives in a converted bank building in Bernard, Iowa.

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Thunderstorm 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's where I live and what I experience. The illustrations create a book that children speak the script. I have Arthur Geiserts' other books.