When The Sky Roars

Children - Picture Book
31 Pages
Reviewed on 07/31/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite

When The Sky Roars, written and illustrated by Katie Weaver, is about a boy who didn’t like thunderstorms because they spoiled his activities. They also scared him. He decides to investigate the source of the thunder, hoping he can put an end to the roaring sound. Our young hero takes to the skies, but to his surprise finds fantastical people and creatures. He also finds the source of thunder, at least in a way that satisfies him. Weaver’s book is written in rhymes, such as “I remember that time while with Gramps in the park, large gray clouds moved in fast and the sky became dark.” The book also includes a recipe for “Four Berry Crumb Pie,” which serves “one medium size dinosaur.” Weaver herself illustrated the book with some evocative pictures.

My children would have liked When The Sky Roars when they were young. Author Katie Weaver doesn’t specify an age group that the book is intended for, but I think those under five would get the most enjoyment from it. The rhymes are cute and never forced, and children will find them memorable. Weaver’s illustrations show that she is multi-talented and the images fit the book's quirky ideas perfectly. I laughed out loud at one of the creatures that the boy found as he investigated thunder’s source. I won’t say what the boy learns about why the sky roars because I don’t want to spoil the story, but I will say that author Katie Weaver has a wonderful sense of humor and knows exactly how to appeal to children.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

When The Sky Roars by Katie Weaver is a lovely children’s book about thunderstorms and how they can scare children. It is exquisitely illustrated by the author herself. It is written in a voice that helps readers to relax, probably thanks to the numerous rhymes and the lightness of tone. The drawings are superb: I particularly love the little cat and Liam, the main protagonist. They are so cute. The story is also lively, fanciful, and original. What else could we want? When The Sky Roars is the story of Liam’s fear of thunderstorms during summer. He knows what to do (hide and try to relax in his bed), but the roaring keeps making him uneasy all the same and creates an atmosphere of fear and dread. Liam, however, is not going to cry and wait for the thunderstorm to stop! He is brave and wants to understand how they work in order to make them go away.

Katie Weaver's protagonist is imaginative, the story is fun and evocative of common fears for children. This small children’s book will definitely help many boys and girls who unnecessarily worry about storms. In short, this is a highly engaging story about our most hidden fears, our most ancient anxieties. Who can boast of never having been scared by a huge storm? Who can state they are perfectly happy to wait them out? Mankind has always tried to account for natural phenomena, either scientifically or through myths, legends, tales (such as Frau Hölle, who shook her eiderdown out of the window to make snow fall on earth, and not unlike the Just So Stories by Kipling). Here we are offered a delightful explanation for Zeus's terrifying anger, with a great deal of humor too, enhanced by the funny look of the dinosaur family. Nothing to be worried about anymore! I highly recommend this lovely story with a twist. Indeed, you will encounter pirates, a beautiful ship, fire trucks, dinosaurs, and will follow Liam on his wonderful adventure in When The Sky Roars.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

When The Sky Roars is a picture book story for children penned by Katie Weaver. Do you like thunderstorms? They can be rather loud, and scary, too. But do they have to ruin all the fun? What do you think makes the skies roar so loud that it scares us? Well, one little boy was determined to find out. He didn’t like to stop having fun just because of the loud roars in the sky. So he fastened fat balloons on his rear end and sailed above the clouds. What do you think he found? A pirate ship with pirates dancing ballet: were they the culprits? Or how about the fire truck? What else do you think might make the loud roar? This little boy will help you so you can overcome your fear of thunderstorms, just like he did.

Katie Weaver’s picture book story When The Sky Roars is a clever way of teaching young people ways to overcome fears like the fear of thunderstorms. All it takes is a little imagination and a whole lot of courage. The story, told in rhyming verse, follows one little boy’s adventure as he seeks to find the source of the loud roars. There’s a sweet treat to reward his courage and his discovery, and the recipe is at the end of the story. The colorful illustrations help carry the story along and the changing text fonts, the color of the text, and the curvature of the text make the delightfully lyrical words flow across the page with ease. As the little boy explores the clouds, his fears turn to giggles as he observes many possible explanations for the troublesome and scary roar of thunder. Beautifully presented and a highly enjoyable read.