Thunder Bunny

Publisher: Philomel, 2007

Editor: Patricia Lee Gauch

Art Director: Semadar Megged

Thunder Bunny, by Barbara Helen Berger

Thunder Bunny was a surprise.
Even her own mama said, “Oh, my.”

When old Granny says, “She came out of the blue,” Thunder Bunny wonders, “I did?” She ponders the sky where clouds come and go yet the blue is always there. “I came from the sky.”

The others pooh-pooh that, but Thunder Bunny decides to jump on the wind and find out. The wind carries her into the sky where she feels so free, “I am the blue and the blue is me!” But she also faces a huge gray cloud. Trying to tunnel through it, she is afraid in the rumbling dark, until she remembers, “I am the blue.”

With a flick of her ears and thumping feet, she proclaims herself. She’s a “Thun-Thun-Thunder Bunny!” And BOOM, the cloud breaks open and rain pours down. The others run to find her. There she sits on the hill, shining like the sunlit sky after a storm. Now she is even more than before: “a sun and moon bunny, clear and true and out of the blue, the blue that is always there, no matter what.”

A story to celebrate the spirit and courage—the power—of being who you are.

Bunnies in the den, from Thunder Bunny

“Even her own mama said, ‘Oh my.’”

Author’s comments:

I used collage to make the art in this book. This was new for me, different from painting, and fun to rub pastel (chalk) into torn paper and see how the color caught those torn edges. Some pieces looked like hilly green land, some like clouds, or even wind. I drew all the bunnies in pastel pencil first, coated them, and cut them out. Then I moved all the torn and cut-out pieces around to find where they wanted to be for each illustration. Some smaller touches are painted on top of the collage, like eyes and whiskers.

Image from Thunder Bunny

“She thumped her feet in the tunnel. ‘I am a rumble bunny.’”


Publishers Weekly

Berger’s winsome tale introduces a bunny born blue, who’s part archetype, part preschooler. Thunder Bunny is different, all right. Old Granny says that Thunder Bunny “came out of the blue,” and when the heroine avows “I came from the sky,” her siblings scoff. This precipitates an adventure aloft. Thunder Bunny connects with the natural elements that perennially pique children’s curiosity—wind, clouds, thunder and lightning, sun and moon. While brave Thunder Bunny rides the raging storm, proclaiming (in crystal-clear homage to Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen), “I am the blue and the blue is me!” her family “huddled and cuddled” below in a warren carved out of the hillside. Realizing that Thunder Bunny is missing, her family hunts for her, and sees “up on the hill…a glorious rabbit.” As a result of her transformative quest, Thunder Bunny, with a sun aglow on her breast and a crescent moon nestled in her left ear, is now “a sun and moon bunny, / clear and true and out of the blue, / the blue that is always there, no matter what.” Berger’s pictures combine cut-paper and collage bunnies, sweetly rendered in pale pastels, with larger, torn paper elements that suggest the sky, clouds, a meadow and rain. The fluidly distilled text—with its occasional near rhyme, a child’s perspective and resonant phrases such as “a cloud billowed up” and “not a whiffle of wind”—is just right. Ages 4 and up. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kids Lit
Books and More for Children and Teens
Tasha Saecker Director, Menasha Public Library, Menasha, WI
“Share this interesting book with children first grade and older.”

… Thunder Bunny is a bunny who arrived out of the blue, and her fur is the bright blue that you see on the cover image. When she looks up into the sky, she sees that the blue is always there even if it is hidden by clouds or darkness. And she decides that she has come from the sky. The other bunnies scoff at her, but she knows she is right. When a gust of wind startles the other rabbits back to their hole, Thunder runs right into the wind and rides it into the sky. She tunnels into a dark part of the clouds and gets scared, until she reminds herself that she is “the blue.” Then she lives up to her name and returns to earth to dazzle the other bunnies.

This book is so fabulous. Talk about girl power! And a wide embrace for the power of being different! …

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