Written and illustrated by Arthur Geisert
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.
12" (W) x 10.2" (H) • 32 pages • HCJ
AWARDS AND REVIEWS
★ "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
“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.” —The 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.” —Tasha Saecker, 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.” —Carolyn Juris, The New York Times
”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, School Library Journal
”Once again, Geisert displays his expertise in the art of copperplate etching. […] Artistically, there’s much to admire in the meticulously created etchings. The delicate watercolor tints bring the scenes to life, and the occasional cross-sectional views of house, barn, tree, and the earth itself will fascinate some children.” —Carolyn Phelan, Booklist
Read / listen to NPR’s coverage of our momentous Thunderstorm book launch in Bernard, IA, which drew more than 500 people to a town of 98.