Review of A Stone Is a Story

A Stone Is a Story A Stone Is a Story
by Leslie Barnard Booth; illus. by Marc Martin
Primary    McElderry    40 pp.
10/23    9781534496941    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781534496958    $10.99

“A stone is not just a stone,” but instead a story, a record of dynamic processes occurring across large stretches of time. Booth’s imaginative stories about one stone align with the major rock groups (not named in the main text, though the end pages and a glossary provide explanations) and employ dramatic descriptions of the events the stone experiences. The stone was “gushing from the mouth of a volcano,” “crushed and dragged by a glacier,” and “driven down / down / down / into deep searing darkness” before it reaches the hand of a child. The impressionistic watercolor illustrations are snapshots of places and times within these processes. Shadows of ancient flora and fauna, including birds, dinosaurs, and sea creatures, are framed by brown and black rock formations that convey solidity and timelessness, even within the dynamic volcanic, oceanic, and surficial landscapes. Readers are encouraged to seek out their own stones, “imagine everything the stone has been…and what it might become,” and consider the continuity of change.

From the November/December 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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