The Thunder Egg
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The Thunder Egg

  • by: Tim J. Myers

  • illustrated by: Winfield Coleman

  • Juvenile Fiction / Native American (early reader 4-8)






Date Available:

Available now


4 and up

Grade Level:

2 – 3


Lexile Measure: 610L


7.125″ x 10.25″

Page Count:


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Stands-by-Herself lives with her grandmother in a buffalo-hide tipi among their Cheyenne people on the Great Plains. Other children make fun of her because she is always by herself dreaming. One day she finds a strange egg-shaped rock and senses there is something special about it. Taking it home, she cares for it as if it were a child, even though the other children mock her. When a terrible drought threatens to wipe out her people, could Stands-by-Herself’s rock hold the key to their survival?

The Thunder Egg is the story of a girl’s coming of age, when she realizes that life can require us to think of others before ourselves and to follow what our hearts tell us. Featuring an author’s note, informative notes on the illustrations, and a bibliography, the book is filled with vibrant images of Plains Indian life in the unspoiled West. Carefully crafted text and paintings bring a true authenticity to the time, place, and people of the story.

Winfield Coleman is an artist, writer, editor, lecturer, and ethnological researcher who has worked on books, museum catalogs, and research materials on native peoples from around the world. He devotes a great deal of time to assuring the historical accuracy of his illustrations, as his beautiful paintings for The Thunder Egg show. His work, American Indian Horse Masks (written by Ned and Jody Martin), received the prestigious George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award for excellence in art publishing. Coleman lives in San Francisco, CA.

Tim J. Myers is an author of children’s and adult books who has published over ten books for children. Myers is also an artist, songwriter, and storyteller, as well as an educator in English and education at the university level. His book, Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood won the inaugural Ben Franklin Digital Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association. He lives in Santa Clara, CA.


  • Gold Medal in the “Interior Design” category of the 2015 Midwest Book Awards


  • “A thought-provoking story about what a person would give up to help others . . . Soft pastel watercolors add great detail to the story. The illustrations are further explained at the end of the book to provide readers with greater background information about the Cheyenne people and the time period before horses were introduced. . . .”

    – School Library Journal

  • “An original tale based in folklore about a Native American girl’s willingness to help her [Cheyenne] people through the power of a mysterious stone. . . . The author builds an affecting story that centers on his Native American protagonist and her love for her people. . . . The soft, pastel-hued watercolor illustrations evoke the pre-Colonial Plains and its peoples; unusually detailed notes provide further information in the backmatter (Picture book. 6-8).”

    – Kirkus Reviews

  • “What a great story, and indeed how very good it is to see illustrations which are painted with real knowledge and love for the nomadic peoples who lived on the Great Plains. Aho – aho!”

    – Paul Goble

    , Caldecott-medal-winning author and illustrator of The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

  • “The Thunder Egg’s illustrations capture the spare beauty of the Northern Plains, and Stands-by-Herself’s story is hers alone. But her need to find a way to connect, and finding it by giving away something precious to her, is shared by all of us.”

    – Michal Strutin

    , author of A Guide to Contemporary Plains Indians, and Chaco: a Cultural Legacy

  • “Stands-by-Herself is a reserved and solitary child. But, like the Thunder Egg, her beauty, strength and power lie within. This gem of a girl’s selfless offering to Creator saves her Cheyenne People and, in my opinion, makes her a credible female heroine. Although Stands-by-Herself is a non-fictional character, she could occupy a place next to Sacajawea, Lori Piestewa and other indigenous role models.”

    – Rosemary Apple Blossom Lonewolf

    , artist, lecturer, and educator

  • “The Thunder Egg is one of those rare books that is a treat and an education for both the eye and the mind. Its clear poetic text and luminous pictures tell this traditional teaching tale with clarity and respect.”

    – Joseph Bruchac

    , Abenaki writer and storyteller, author of Crazy Horse’s Vision

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Sample Page Spreads from This Book

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