"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 —
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.
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.
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)
"Kadir Nelson's illustrations...are terrific. Rose is just the right combination of tough little girl and superhero."
Move over, Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill! Even Slew Foot Sue will have to make room for Thunder Rose. Born “good and strong” and ready to make a difference, Rose and her metalworking skills mark the American countryside and psyche. By the age of 12 she had crafted thunderbolts and skyscrapers and was poised to wrassle outlaws and tornadoes. But Rose’s wisdom is deep, and her voice comes from her heart. Lizan Mitchell balances Rose’s gentle side with the outrageous. As Rose, Mitchell is loving toward family and determined on her do-good quests. Vibrant and spunky, Rose will win your heart. A.R. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine