Here in Texas, we are in the middle of a much stormier-than-usual summer thunderstorm season. My 5-year-old twins do all right with daytime storms these days. Unfortunately, they’re still pretty nervous about thunder in the dark of night.
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Lately, at bedtime, they’ve been asking if any storms are forecast overnight. If there are, I reassure them that I’ll come into their room if I hear any really loud booms. (Yes, between beeping emergency weather alerts and little girls calling out, those are fun nights).
Books About Storms to the Rescue
Another thing we’ve started doing is reading books about storms, because stories can help kids process their fears and feel safer.
Here are ten fabulous books about thunderstorms and hurricanes. Many of them are rich with rhythmic, onomatopoeic language. All of them may soothe a worried child.
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Dinosaur Thunder by Marion Dane Bauer is a lighthearted story of a little boy whose family tries to explain away his fear of thunder. When his brother tells him dinosaurs are causing the ruckus, he embraces it and starts to have fun. My girls, who know a bit about dinosaurs, love this book.
Thunder-Boomer! by Shutta Crum is a beautifully written longer picture book. A storm provides a welcome break from a hot day, and a farm family scrambles in reaction. With a dose of humor and a sweet, happy ending, this book could easily become your child’s favorite.
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle has the rhythmic voice of jazz and beat poetry, making it a satisfying read-aloud. As rain begins to pelt a playground, children dash for shelter in a subway station. Below ground, strangers become friends as they experience the storm together.
Hurricane by David Wiesner prepares kids for riding out a hurricane at home. If you live where that this is a possibility, then I recommend this book. Two brothers confront a nearly lost cat, a power outage, and their own fears. All appears calm and safe inside with their parents, but a little scary outdoors. After the storm, the boys enjoy days of imaginary play in a fallen tree.
Boom! Boom! Boom! by Jamie A. Swenson makes storms fun. The lively, cumulative plot begins with a boy in his bed during a storm. One by one, his pets and then sister join him seeking comfort. Your toddler or preschooler will love chiming in on every “Flash! Crash! Boom! Boom! Boom!” (and you’ll have fun too).
Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain by Valeri Gorbachev is about a little girl cat who is sad that it’s raining. A varied group of animal friends arrive proclaiming their love of rain. After Catty Jane admits she is afraid of thunder, the friends have a rainy day party to distract her.
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey, with its beautiful illustrations and language, is one of my all-time favorites. It opens with an approaching afternoon rain shower and the joy of playing in the rain. Two sisters experience an idyllic childhood summer in Maine. Late in the season, a hurricane threatens the coast. The family shelters in their home together as the storm rages and then quiets. The next morning, an uprooted tree becomes a magical playground.
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown isn’t really about a storm. This Caldecott winner is about a little island in all seasons. With the same type of lulling rhythm she used in Goodnight Moon, Brown draws you in. There is one page with a storm that brews to a frenzy and ends, all within nine sparse yet rich lines. I like how this brief gale among 20 pages of text puts storms in perspective.
Stormy Night by Salina Yoon is a brightly illustrated gem. During a stormy night, Bear comforts his toy bunny and his parents. As the storm worsens, they comfort him.
The Rain Train by Elena de Roo is a soothing ride for little train lovers. A train glides through a thunderstorm at night, with loads of onomatopoeia and a simple plot.
Have I missed any of your favorites? I’d love to hear about them! Connect with me on Facebook or leave a comment below.