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|Stone sat still|
Author: Wenzel, Brendan
Told in rhyming verse, a stone is considered from a variety of environmental and emotional perspectives, as it sits where it is, surrounded by grass, dirt, and water, an unchanging certainty in the world.
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/19)
School Library Journal (08/01/19)
Booklist (+) (07/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/10/19)
The Hornbook (00/09/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2019 *Starred Review* What at first may seem like a retread of 2016’s Caldecott Honor Book They All Saw a Cat takes the beautifully proven concept and elevates it to awe-inspiring heights as, by broadening the scope—yet still focusing on the little moments—it contemplates infinity. Wenzel’s text sets a steady beat: “A stone sat still / with the water, grass, and dirt / and it was as it was / where it was in the world.” Each spread observes the same small boulder, impressionistically depicted through a specific animal’s perspective. Wenzel’s familiar mixed-media style is sometimes placid and picturesque; other times, it's active and intense; but it always holds to the purposes of poetry, tone, and science. Every image offers interaction, whether through interpretation of the animal’s relationship to the stone or through revelation of the secrets hidden within the layered artwork. Periodically, a visual refrain returns us to a snail that makes its way, bit by bit, over the stone. For it, “the stone was an age,” and as the book progresses, the passage of time brings steadily rising waters. In the end, the stone becomes an island and then a wave, and finally, to an owl soaring over the sea-flooded world, “the stone was a memory.” Yet on the ocean floor, where the stone still sits, another snail begins its journey. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 K-Gr 4—Wenzel scores another hit with this engaging and though-provoking companion to They All Saw a Cat. "A stone sat still/with the water, grass, and dirt/and it was as it was/where it was in the world." Lyrical text, stunning mixed-media artwork, and cleverly shifting perspectives reveal how this object is at once static and ever-changing, predictable yet filled with possibility, seemingly eternal yet somehow vulnerable. The stone is "dark" when swathed in shadow, and "bright" when bathed in moonlight. It's "loud" when a seagull uses it to break apart a clam, and "quiet" when a snake sits curled atop; "rough" (compared to a slug) and "smooth" (compared to a porcupine); a "pebble" to a moose, and a "hill" to a tiny insect. As various animals discover, the stone is "a danger," "a haven,' "a story," "a stage," and so much more. Detail-packed illustrations work closely with the text to eloquently convey this sedentary stone's role in its surrounding biome. Observant readers will notice that the water levels surrounding the stone are rising, which becomes first "an island," then "a wave," then "a memory" as it disappears beneath the surface, continuing to sit "still in the world" surrounded by seaweed and sea creatures. VERDICT Showcasing at-a-glimpse activities of an array of animals, this book offers small stories to pore over as well as bigger ideas to ponder, including the influence of viewpoint, the relationship between wildlife and habitat, the impact of environmental issues, and the vagaries of time.—Joy Fleishhacker, Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.