- Virginia Johnson
It’s Saturday afternoon on a working farm in the Midwest. Kids ride along as baled hay is taken to the barn. At 12:15 PM, lightning strikes a power line. That gets the attention of the people in the truck and the animals in the fields... and under the fields. In Thunderstorm, by Arthur Geisert, there are almost no words, the only “words” are time signatures as the thunderstorm rolls across the farm, getting stronger and causing problems for everyone around.
As the storm moves on, it behaves in different ways, but whenever there is a threat or destruction or its aftermath, whether human or animal, the groups pull together and ultimately keep going. In the wake of the real-life and severe weather out West, this nearly wordless book gives a lot of simple comfort to its audience and opens space for discussion. No pictures are terribly scary, but they are realistic enough to make the point that Fred Rogers did some years ago, that when faced with disaster: "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
Indeed, they are. Whether the problem caused by the storm is little or small, the families and friends are there to ride it out together and try to help each other rebuild when it has passed.