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Thunder Cake

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  3,485 ratings  ·  214 reviews
When the air gets heavy and dark clouds drift low over the fields of Grandma's farm, her frightened granddaughter hides under the bed. But Grandma insists that this is Thunder Cake baking weather and the two are soon scrambling to gather the ingredients to make the cake--and get it into the oven before the storm arrives. Full color.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published August 25th 1997 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1990)
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Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia PolaccoPink and Say by Patricia PolaccoThunder Cake by Patricia PolaccoMr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia PolaccoThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
Best of Patricia Polacco
3rd out of 54 books — 42 voters
Bunny Cakes by Rosemary WellsIf You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Joffe NumeroffPancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaolaLittle Mouse and the Big Cupcake by Thomas TaylorTough Cookie by Kate Louise
Picture Books About Cakes
6th out of 64 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 19, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fearful children; all of my Goodreads friends who enjoy picture books
Oh, I’m glad that I was alone when I read this. I made peculiar sounds as I laughed at the illustrations of a cat that appears on many of the pages. Polacco draws cats so well. I also came close to crying, no surprise to me now with Polacco’s books.

This book is beautifully illustrated. The animals and people and settings are all painted so lovingly.

This is an apparently true story of how Patricia Polacco’s beloved grandmother helped her get over her fear of thunderstorms. What a creative and lov
Apr 04, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We really enjoy Patricia Polacco's stories and so we look for them often at our local library. Lucky for us, she is a very prolific writer, so we still have a lot of her books to discover. We borrowed this book as part of a kit from our local library, with an audiocassette and a paperback book with ISBN 0698115813 / ISBN13 9780698115811. It is narrated by the author and we enjoyed listening to the story as we followed along with the book.

We enjoyed the message of keeping busy to take your mind
Loved it! As opposed to the usual perpetual heat and sunshine of our Septembers, we actually had some overcast weather this week and a few (mild) thunderstorms last weekend, so I felt perfectly in the mood for this book and that might have bumped this up to the five star rating ;-)

This is a fun, sweet (true) story about young Patricia who is afraid of thunderstorms when she visits her Babushka's (grandmother's) farm during the summer. Her grandma comes up with the idea to make a Thunder Cake, a
Polacco and I just aren't on same wavelength. I do respect how so many of my other friends love her books, but personally they just don't move me. Don't know why. The artwork is lively, the theme meaningful, the language and characters fine - but just not something I love. Sorry I can't figure out more to say.
Emily Holter
Thunder Cake is a Danish contemporary realistic fiction book that tells the story of a young girl and her grandmother trying to forget the powerful thunderstorm coming in on them by making a cake. This book would be appealing to children as for some of them are quite scared of thunderstorms. The young girl in the story is also very much afraid of the storm, so children can definitely relate to her. Her grandmother is also a very warm character in the book and children can look at her just as the ...more
Crystal Marcos
Thunder Cake is a great read aloud and gave me a clever idea for the next thunderstorm here in the Pacific Northwest. I will be making my first Thunder Cake or Thunder Cupcakes, maybe even just call it Thunder Baking. I am excited to fend off the fear of thunder in my daughters early years. She is really into getting into the kitchen to help mommy and daddy. I certainly think this book could aid with any child's fear of thunder.

This wonderful story is based on the authors own life experience wit
This book is excellent for displaying courage in a time of fear and uncertainty. It's a great book to read to children that are afraid of thunderstorms. I like how the grandmother distracted the young girl from her fear by encouraging her to do something creative and constructive. This could even give parents some ideas on how to get their child to overcome a fear of thunderstorms.

Extension Activity: I would read this book to the class on a rainy day. Then I would have a classroom discussion ab
Brittney Griffith
This book is an amazing read for children and adults. It ties culture, food and fear together in a unique way. Patricia Polacco tells the story of her Russian grandmother and how her "Babushka" helps her overcome her fear of thunderstorms. Any child can relate to this book just based on the idea that at some point we are all afraid of thunderstorms. It ties in the Russian grandmother on her farm in Michigan and how she creatively came up with a recipe which she called "Thunder Cake". The best pa ...more
Jared Burton
Polacco, Patricia. Thunder Cake. New York: Philomel Books, 1990.
This is a book about a little girl who is scared of thunder, and her grandma who helps her get over this fear by having her help her make "thunder cake." The thunder cake calls for different ingredients that require a certain bravery to acquire. After the cake is in the oven, the grandma recalls all that the little girl did in order to get the cake ingredients, she tells her that anyone who can do all those things should not be afr
Thunder Cake tells the inspirational story of a little girl who is afraid of thunder. She hides under her bed until her grandmother instructs her to preoccupy her time worrying about making the Thunder Cake in time for the thunder. Her grandmother tells her that while they gather the ingredients on the farm for the cake, she should start counting when the lightning strikes and then stop counting when the thunder rolls. She told her this would tell her how many miles away the thunder is. This is ...more
I added this to my list 3 yrs ago. So glad to finally read it. Very sweet story of a young girl and her Russian grandmother(Babushka). The little girl is scared by the thunder and is comforted by the grandmother.I loved the reassuring voice of the grandmother throughout the book. They gather ingredients for a Thunder Cake and I like how the little girl faces her fears. The grandmother teaches the girl that after you see lightning you count and when you hear the thunder you stop counting and that ...more
A little girl is afraid of the loud voice of thunder striking. Her Babushka (grandmother) tells her little scared granddaughter that it is perfect Thunder Cake baking weather and off they go to gather all the ingredients, all the while the thunder is getting closer and louder. By the time the thunder storm reaches Babushka's house, they are enjoying the yummy Thunder Cake. Warm colored folk-art emphasizes the warm family feelings of this story.

Polacco includes the recipe on the last page of the
Thunder Cake is among my favorite children's books. Not only is Patricia Polacco a talented storyteller, her illustrations are unique, realistic, yet slightly whimsical.

My mom bought this book when I was a kid. I had already overcome my fear of thunder (if that was ever a fear of mine) so the book didn't help me out with that. But I DID enjoy the cake we made. The Thundercake recipe is in the back - and it's splendid.

I got the book for a fun re-read and so I'd have the recipe this summer when th
Liz Stoneking
This book was a win for my little future baker. When she saw the recipe she immediately wanted to bake her own Thunder Cake. Delicious. I remember reading it as a child and enjoyed sharing that nostalgia with my own kids.
Kaitlyn Skovran
Patricia Polacco will always have a place in my heart! I loved her books and the illustrations as a child and even now as an adult. I can't wait to read this to kids in a classroom, my niece or anyone who wants to listen! Thunder Cake helped me get over my fear of storms, just as her Babushka did. My favorite illustration is of the little girl and her Babushka, with the ingredient list. The illustrations flow through the book and the text isn't too difficult to understand for a small child eithe ...more
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco is a story of a grandmother helping her granddaughter get over her fear of thunder. This is done by making a cake during a storm, the cake being called "thunder cake". One interesting aspect Patricia Polacco puts in the book is the information of how to tell the distance a storm is away from you. The suspense begins to build as the young girl continues to count and notice the storm is getting closer. The illustrations show the hectic activity of the characters as ...more
Avery Schlosser
Avery Schlosser
Thunder Cake
In the book Thunder Cake, the author Patricia Polacco conveys the message that you can do whatever you set your mind to. In the beginning of the book we meet a scared little girl hiding under her grandmothers bed during a thunderstorm. "This is Thunder Cake baking weather alright" says her grandmother. Throughout the book, the two set off to gather ingredients for the Thunder Cake before the storm reaches too close. The little girl over comes many of her fea
Lauren Marotta
Adorable how they add the recipe in the back of the book- LOVE.

Patricia Polacco has beautiful eye catching illustrations and it really helps the reader enjoy the story. When we meet this young girl we find out she is afraid of thunderstorms and by overcoming that fear she bakes a cake with her grandmother. Many children can relate to this type of book because at a young age children face many fears. Allowing her to overcome her fear by getting her mind off the thunderstorm and baking a cake othe
Haley Caudell
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco is an outstanding story about overcoming fears. This story is about a child’s grandmother attempting to help her overcome her fear of thunderstorms. Being the creative woman she is, she has a discreet way to get the young girl to get out into the oncoming storm to gather the materials to make a thunder cake. A thunder cake is a cake that has to be in the oven before the storm makes it to the house. This helped the child overcome her fears because she had to run ...more
Kristina Whitt
Thundercake is a fiction story about how a little girl whose grandmother reassures her during a thunderstorm and keeps her preoccupied with getting ingredients together to bake a cake. The story is well illustrated with beautiful pictures of the farm animals which they collect the ingredients from in order to make the thunder cake. The grandmother's character is a loving demander during the storm, which proves to the girl her brevity. The grandmother tells the little girl that every second betwe ...more
Thunder Cake is a good book about a little girl and her Grandma who is helping her granddaughter cope with her fear of thunderstorms. This is a great book for parents and educators to share with their children and students to help them see that they are not the only kids with fears. I did find it a little strange that the Grandma is using overly ripened tomatoes. One thing I really like about the book is that the Grandma taught the child to get over her fears by doing a lot of other daunting tas ...more
Apr 03, 2010 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children frightened of storms
Shelves: picture
This sweet story of a little girl who is frightened of thunder suggests a gentle way of dealing with childhood fears.

Someday I'll have to try the recipe -- chocolate cake with tomato in it!
Alexis Adelman
Thunder Cake reminded me a lot of the good times that my grandmother and I have spent together. The illustrator used very thin lines to help show that the grandmother was elderly and maybe fragile. The plot moved steadily through the book and it was very smooth. One event led to the next, and the next, and the next, until finally everything was gathered and they could make the cake. In the end the girl wasn't afraid of the storm anymore. The author did a great job of keeping the flow of the book ...more
I love Patricia Polacco. She writes books that appeal to a wide age range and discusses hard concepts in may books.

A little girl is afraid of thunder storms so grandma bakes a special thunder cake. The process takes the time of the storm so the little girl is occupied and fear is alleviated.

A concept book addressing common childhood fears. The cake recipe is included so the story can be replicated at home or for a small group. A librarian could make the cake and serve it as a snack. Of course s
Katherine Kim
Children who have big and small fears may read this book and feel brave like the main character. The story is about a little girl who is scared of thunder, but her grandmother helps her overcome that fear by baking a thunder cake. The little girl realizes that she is brave and strong and thunder cannot scare her. Children will be able to relate to the girl and also realize that they, too, can be able to overcome their fears. Patricia Polloco does a wonderful job narrating the story and the illus ...more
My mother mailed this book to my two-year-old after I told her that he has recently been freaking out during thunderstorms. It was my sister's book when we were kids, and even though I was already 8 or 9 years old when I read it for the first time, I remember being so intrigued by the idea of baking a thunder cake. As far as I can remember we never got around to actually baking one (possibly because I grew up in the desert, where thunderstorms are fierce, but short and rare).
Anyway, I thought th
Corby Lancaster
Genre- Picture book

Reading Level- K-5

Topic and Themes- A little girl is afraid of thunderstorms. A story of courage and bravery

Curricula use- Read Aloud

Social- The little girl is afraid of thunderstorms

Literary elements- The little girl is afraid of thunderstorms and the grandmother helps her to realize how brave she actually is.

Text and Pictures- The text and pictures go together to tell the story

Summary- "Thunder cake" by Patricia Polacco is a story of a young girl who is afraid of thunder sto
One of our new favorites!

My cousin, Sandy, had given my son this book for Christmas. Her girls are book lovers, and they all had nothing but great things to say about Thunder Cake and author Patricia Polacco. Unfortunately, for some reason, this book went up on the shelf and was forgotten until a few weeks ago.

My son pulled it out one evening during a thunderstorm. We read it together and both absolutely loved it!

It's about a little girl who was afraid of the thunder, but her grandmother chang
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco is the story of a Babushka (grandmother) who helps cure her granddaughter of her fear of thunder by having her help gather ingredients and make a Thunder Cake.

Patricia hides under the bed when the air gets heavy and dark clouds drift over her grandma's farm. Grandma, however, insists that this is Thunder Cake baking weather and the two are soon scrambling to gather the ingredients to make the cake--and get it into the oven before the storm arrives.

To keep her gr
Connie Strong
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