A loud clap of thunder booms, and rattles the windows of Grandma’s old farmhouse. “This is Thunder Cake baking weather,” calls Grandma, as she and her granddaughter hurry to gather the ingredients around the farm. A real Thunder Cake must reach the oven before the storm arrives. But the list of ingredients is long and not easy to find . . . and the storm is coming closer all the time!
Reaching once again into her rich childhood experience, Patricia Polacco tells the memorable story of how her grandma–her Babushka–helped her overcome her fear of thunder when she was a little girl. Ms. Polacco’s vivid memories of her grandmother’s endearing answer to a child’s fear, accompanied by her bright folk-art illustrations, turn a frightening thunderstorm into an adventure and ultimately . . . a celebration!
Whether the first clap of thunder finds you buried under the bedcovers or happily anticipating the coming storm, Thunder Cake is a story that will bring new meaning and possibility to the excitement of a thunderstorm.
A delightful true story with Patricia Polacco’s signature illustrations about a grandmother helping her granddaughter overcome her fear of thunder with a combination of distraction and real accomplishments by conquering other fears.
I love the unflappable Babushka in this story. She keeps the terrified child narrator busy, moving from one task to the next acquiring ingredients for the cake they are hurrying to make and gives her a reason to pay attention to the coming storm, counting between the thunder and lightning to gauge the distance of the storm. The slightly out-of-scale farm animals serve as a visual reminder that a child’s perception is different than an adult’s. I remember reading this to my children and enjoyed re-reading it for this review. There is something calming about Patricia Polacco’s world, even though her characters have troubles, things work out for them in the end. It is all part of life.
Patricia Polacco belongs to a family of storytellers, poets, farmers, teachers, and artists. They came from many parts of the world, but mainly Russia. She grew up to be an illustrator, a designer, and creator of many beloved children’s books, including The Keeping Quilt, The Blessing Cup, Fiona’s Lace, The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Babushka’s Doll, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, and Sticks and Stones. She lives in Union City, Michigan. Visit her at PatriciaPolacco.com and follow her on Facebook.