Thunder Underground ‒ Jane Yolen

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  • Age Range: 5 – 10 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten – 5
  • Lexile Measure: 900
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: WordSong (March 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590789369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590789360



In this collection of poems, noted children’s poet Jane Yolen takes readers on an expedition underground, exploring everything from animal burrows and human creations, like subways, near the surface–to ancient cities and fossils, lower down–to caves, magma, and Earth’s tectonic plates, deeper still below our feet. At the same time, in Josee Masse’s rich art, a girl and boy, accompanied by several animals, go on a fantastic underground journey. This book contains science, poetry, and an adventure story all rolled into one. But it’s also more than that: In these poems, we see that beneath us are the past, present, future–history, truth, and story. This thought-provoking collection will evoke a sense of wonder and awe in readers, as they discover the mysterious world underneath us.


Rationale for Inclusion: This book is fantastic for inspiring a sense of excitement, wonder, and imagination in children as it is written and illustrated in a way that seeks to take kids on an adventure and into a world outside of their immediate surroundings. Another thing I really enjoyed about this book is how it also incorporated scientific concepts. As a result, children were not only having fun while letting their imaginations run rampant, but they were learning while doing so. This book also cleverly uses poetry and incorporates finger play, which provides a great opportunity for children to be interactive and engaged throughout this adventurous story.

In keeping with our diversity theme, another aspect of this book that was really nice to see was the positive interactions being depicted between two interracial children who also happened to be of the opposite gender. This was particularly nice to see because oftentimes with books that seek to incorporate diversity, you see characters interacting with others who look like them. This book therefore offers a different element to the theme of diversity by showing kids of different races integrating with one another.

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