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Thunder Underground

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  67 reviews
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 Josée Masse’s rich art, a girl and ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 28th 2017 by WordSong
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
About: Thunder Underground is a children’s picture book of poems written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Josée Masse. It was recently published on 3/28/17 by WordSong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press (and Highlights), hardcover, 32 pages. The genres are poetry, picture book, and non-fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 5 to 10, grades K to 5.

My Experience: I started reading Thunder Underground on 4/4/17 as a bedtime story for my 5 year-old son and we finished it that same night. I
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
When I picked up this book of poems I thought they would be about animals that live underground and maybe some plants. However, it was also about subways, basements, fossils, artifacts, caves, and underground lakes and magma pools. I liked its broad scope. My favorite poems were "Seeds" (in which seeds are likened to periods in sentences that make up the paragraph of spring) and "Magma Pools." Yolen includes a page at the end of the book of scientific information alluded to in each poem. I was ...more
Lyndsey Jones
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
This text is about what all lives under us, or "underground". "Thunder Underground" is a story written using multiple forms of poems, and therefore would be considered a part of the poetry genre. It is an appropriate book to use for grades three and four because it would be a little too simple for grades older than this, I think. One way I would use this in my future classroom is as a read-aloud to introduce students to a unit on poetry. It would be a great way to engage the students in the ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
While I see some good STEM connections, not her best work.
RLL 220 Selena Brown
This was an amazing book combining poetry and science. It is multicultural (generic). Jane Yolen speaks of things that go on underground. Including ant, earthworms, and mole life; roots of trees and flowers. And she spoke on human life underground bridges, subways and sewers. Lastly, things that use to be old cities, magma pools, and fossils. There were other objects not mentioned in this review she wrote about, all to do with underground.

What was nice (a true picture book) to me was the
Lauren Johnson
This is a collection of poems written by Jane Yolen. The author describes the journey of a girl and boy as they explore the underground. These twenty-one poems are written for elementary students of all ages. I am wowed by this book because the collection of poems requires the reader to use their imagination while the characters uncover fossils, subways, ancient cities and many more things underground. In addition to the poems the author has also included notes on poem that describe the science ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Very hit or miss. Some poems are great, like "Seeds":

This dot,
this spot,
this period at the end
of winter's sentence
writes its way up
through the dull slate of soil
into the paragraph of spring.

Others, like the title poem, are a mishmash of words trying to rhyme.

Some use very adult language, like "Under the City: Two Views."

Here in the black places of the world,
lie the noisy skirls of change:
lacings of pipes, snorkeling sewers,
skewers of bridge footings.

Others are just juvenile sing-song.
Darcie Caswell
The overarching theme of this book of poems is life underground: tree roots, burrowing animals, even the subway. But it feels disjointed. Perhaps that is because the author doesn't present a strong enough vision in the first two poems of where the rest of the book (and the rest of the poems) will take us. Perhaps that is because the transitions and ties between the poems is weak and not explained very well. For a children's book, the theme of "underground" and the connections between the various ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Yolen, Jane Thunder Underground Illustrated by Josee Masse PICTURE BOOK Wordsong, 2017. $17.95 Content: G.

This is a collection of poems that have to do with the word “under”. Some of the poems are about insects or animals that live underground, roots, lava or other natural elements. And some of the poems are about people underground in subways, tunnels, and archaeology. There are also poems about things that are buried underground such as treasure, fossils and caves. The last poem has two kids
Christina Edwards
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have never really been a fan of poetry but I did kind of enjoy Yolen's book because it had pictures to accompany the text. I also liked the overall idea that all the poems were related to (what lives and is happening underground). She really encapsulated a lot of different forms and ideas that go on underground. She writes about animal houses in the tree roots and in the deep-dirt, fossils stuck in thousand year-old magma, caves that animals and insects thrive in, different forms of plants ...more
Viviane Elbee
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of poems about things that are found underground (from bugs & worms to magma to subways...)
Usually I break up readings of poems over multiple days, and this book could easily be broken up into multiple readings since there are a variety of subjects (even though "underground" is the common theme).
The art is beautiful.
The kids enjoyed it.

Good for elementary students studying poetry, and preschoolers who like to learn about things underground.

This is also a good book to
Mary Garrett
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thunder Underground by Jane Yolen
Imagine the Moon by Gerald Fierst

Sometimes we all, even the grownups, need a comforting bedtime book, and I read these two on successive evenings. I thoroughly enjoyed the blending of facts, poetic imagery, and beautiful illustrations. There is much of interest under the surface of our earth and in the movements and makeup of our moon. I learned many things my years of schooling hadn’t taught me, including the right-to-left waxing and waning of the moon and the
Teresa Edmunds
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I like how Yolen has covered every underground item: worms, subway, caves, etc. The poems are clever too. The one negative is that there are references that youngsters won't understand, such as "Atilla and his hordes". There are explanations in the back, but it doesn't exactly work for a child to flip back and forth from poem to explanation to understand what he/she is reading. Though the target audience is young children, the vocabulary is at a higher level so some students may need assistance. ...more
I liked the idea of poems about so many things underground. But some of these poems I got truly lost on, or confused over. And others, while interesting, made me worried that readers with limited information might not realize a fuller view of things. (For examples--moles. Great that they eat earthworms and not your actual garden, but they can wreak much damage to a gardener who needs those earthworms. Or the tunnels causing damage to yards.)
April Moody
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great collection of poems that take place underground- for example, the garden, the basement, the subway, buried treasure etc. This would be a fun addition to any children's poetry collection and could also be a fun way to use poetry in a classroom.

One of my favorites:
This dot,
this spot,
this period at the end
of winter's sentence
writes its way up
through the dull slate of soil
into the paragraph of spring.

Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Exploring all the different ways to explore the underground, this is an engaging group of poems. Some might say the the language at times is a bit beyond the reader, but only if you don't take the time to explain what a word means. My only criticism is that sometimes transitions are a bit sudden, so it's not a linear journey for these kids. Do we need one, though? Hopefully I'll be able to read this with a group soon.
Sandy Brehl
A delightful series of poems (rhymed/traditional) each of which explores ana aspect f the busy-ness under our feet. Most reflect nature (animals, plants) but also includes other manufactured underground elements (subway, buried treasure, etc.). This almost feels like overreach in terms of the range of topics, but would pair well with other more narrowly- focused titles about what is going on under our feet. Back matter is useful.
Micha O'Connor
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Jane Yolen is at it again with her golden pen in this collection of poems. Yolen explores the world, both natural and man-made that lies underfoot. She uses various forms of poetry to touch on plant anatomy, insects, transportation, and history with this collective theme. My personal favorites were "Subway" and "Lost City." Poems are accompanied by mixed media illustrations by Masse, the French Canadian artist responsible for the lovely Mirror Mirror.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who would imagine a poem called "Pirate Treasure" in a collection of geology poetry? Jane Yolen did - "I Kidd you not."
I can only imagine the fun Yolen must have had writing these poems, they resound with curiosity, information, and clever phrases.
Full color illustrations done in mixed media are often cut-aways, so the reader can more easily grasp the underground world.
Carol  Vanhook
21 delightful poems about the underground. Some are natural occurrences and others are man-made. This is an adventure book just waiting for explorers and discovers to accept the journey! The illustrations are big and delightful, offering readers so much to see and think about! The author's notes on the poem are informative and thought provoking! A great addition to anyone's library!
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A collection of poetry about what goes on underground. From animal burrows to tree roots, from fossils to magma, Yolen covers a range of activity beneath our very feet. I would recommend this to teachers working on earth and rock units (fossils, volcanoes, earthquakes, caves) or nature (seeds, roots, worms, ants, moles). Very cool connections! Recommended for 2nd and 3rd grade.
Michaela Stoffel
This story gives poetry exposure to students, while still following a narrative. It looks at different elements of our world from a unique view. It looks at the earth from underground rivers or from under homes, and uses vivid illustrations that catch the eye. This could be used inter disciplinarily as a science and poetry unit.
Christine Irvin
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How many things do you think about that are underground? There are basements and animals and tree roots and buried treasure and all sorts of wonderful things under the ground. Author Jane Yolen uses verse to interest children in what lies under the ground.

The back matter at the end of the book gives more information about all the under ground things that are mentioned in the text.
Cindy Dobrez
A solid poetry collection for elementary school by the endlessly creative Jane Yolen, focused on the interesting theme of the world underground. Did you know that corn plants can talk? My favorite poem is "Seeds," but there are many to delight.


This dot,
this spot,
this period at the end
of winter's sentence
writes its way up
through the dull slate of soil
into the paragraph of spring.
Whole And
Another beautiful Jane Yolen book this time about all the things that can be found beneath our feet. Everything from basements to earthworms to subways to tectonic plates. With poetry and wonderful illustrations included this book is a great read to contemplate the world beneath us.
Miss Sarah
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
This collection of simple and short poems focuses on all things underground in both the tradional and nontraditional sense of what is consiodered unerground. an afteerard adds more to each poem. elementary
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This poetry book has both captivating verse and pictures that kept the whole family's attention. Jane Yolen presented ideas accessible to elementary aged children intrigued by the descriptions of what happens in various underground locations.
Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Twenty-one short poems of one or two stanzas provide insight and perhaps even “…knowledge / touched by grace” regarding what exists beneath our everyday world. Among the wide variety of “under” things included are cellars, underground plants and animals, subways, roots, fossils, magma, and caves. Two friends, a black girl and white boy, appear in most of the scenes, and the illustrations work well to clarify the diverse concepts. A page of notes at the end provides additional insights, some ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book of poetry focuses on the happenings underground: insects, roots, seeds, subways, rivers, etc. I thought it was an interesting topic for a book of poetry and had beautiful illustrations to support the text.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Teacher may love this as a new Earth day share. Like many of the poems, but Three Things I know About The Roots of Trees may make a lovely teaching tool. Lots of poetic devices and vocabulary to love.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in ...more