Sherman Alexie (Text) with Yuyi Morales (Illustrations)
The great Sherman Alexie (I believe he could write a shopping list and I’d buy it as well as all it detailed) teams up with veteran illustrator and author of children’s books Yuyi Morales for his first foray into the world of children’s fiction, Thunder Boy Jr.
It’s a wonderful story – the illustrations really bringing it to life too. Here, as with Robbie Robertson’s recent effort Alexie looks to his personal history, but it’s still a story that resonates today and with a wider audience, for at its heart it’s a story about a father and son, about the teaming together of two pals from two generations, bonded by blood.
Thunder Boy Jr wants his own name, he’s loves his dad so much but is upset to share a name, his Thunder, as it were has (already) been taken. “People call him BIG THUNDER. That nickname is a storm filling up the sky. People call me Little Thunder. That nickname makes me sound like a burp or a fart”.
But Jr. wants to be part of the family still, knows and sees that importance straight away, his dad is the world to him in so many ways…and tellingly his dad is able read not only his mind but more than that (“My dad read my heart!”)
It’s rich and funny and it bounces from the pages, thanks to those bold and textured illustrations, thanks to Sherman Alexie’s deft skill with language. It’s a book for your kids but if you’re a fan of Alexie’s poetry, stories, memoirs and novels then you’ll find his heart and skill and approach, the same that drives those lauded literary works, right here on these pages too.