A Stone Sat Still

By Brendan Wenzel. Chronicle Books, 2019. 56 pages. $17.99/hardcover; $11.99/eBook. Recommended for ages 3–5.

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The centerpiece of this lovely book is a stone, set at the edge of an ocean. Page by page, various animals experience the stone in different ways. To the chipmunk, the stone appears dark; to the owl, it is bright; to the moose, it seems a pebble; to the tick, it is a hill. Wenzel has a gift for showing things from different perspectives. His Caldecott Honor-winning book, They All Saw a Cat, illuminates how different animals each perceive a cat, visually and emotionally. This companion book takes the idea one step further to animate the very earth we all walk on. Particularly delightful is how he uses hieroglyphic scribbles to visually represent the feel of the stone for a racoon and the smell of the stone for a coyote. Wenzel uses a variety of media, including colored pencils, oil pastels, and wonderful cut paper that create textured porcupine quills and rough moose pelt. He nods at fellow artist Andy Goldsworthy in his covering the stone with a blanket of green leaves in spring and red leaves in fall. First-day students could use this book as a thread into meditation, holding stones in their hands and imagining all the different experiences the stone has had in its million-year life.

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