Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen

This is my first post for the 5 minutes for Books, and it happens to be a subject that is very dear to my heart: Kid’s Picks!  I don’t have children of my own, but I do teach 8th grade, so I am surrounded by about 115 kids a day.  The easiest picks would be to talk about the ones that are quickly grabbed from my bookshelves, but I wanted to think about what was the most picked picture book that my student’s enjoyed.  I’m a strong believer that picture books should be used with students of all ages, and the book that I choose is a great one to use with all ages.

Thunder Rose, written by Jerdine Nolen and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is a tall tale about a girl with a sweet disposition that has abnormal strength and intelligence.  She also has a talent with metal, as she invents barbed wire.  She was born talking and thanking her parents, she drank a cow dry, and she settled a tornado down with her song.  She is truly a great tall tale heroine.

As a teacher, this is often a story that I use to teach hyperbole and folk tales with.  Most of my students do not know what I consider the normal fairy tales and tall tales that I grew up with, so this type of writing is still knew to them.  Along with Pecos bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan, Thunder Rose gives the same larger than life traits but in a small feminine character.  My students enjoy talking about the exaggerations and the illustrations are gorgeous.  I highly recommend giving it a quick read with audiences young and old.

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