Review: A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel (9781452173184)

Described as a companion to his award-winning They All Saw a Cat, this picture book builds upon the success of the first book to explore one stone. That stone is so much to different creatures. It can be a home, a kitchen, a hill. It can be smooth or rough, loud or quiet. It can be smelled or felt. It can be dark or light. It can be an island, or disappear under the water. Yet it is still there, a world in itself.

This book is so impressive. It is a quiet picture book, exploring one specific stone and the many ways it can be experienced. The book has a refrain which lifts it beyond a list of different ways to view the stone:

and it sat where it sat

with the water, grass, and dirt

and it was as it was

where it was in the world.

This is a book willing to be slow and thoughtful. It takes its own time and asks the reader or listener to do the same. It is grounded in the most wonderful of ways.

The illustrations are simply amazing. They move forward with a feeling of time passing. Some are hazy while others are crisp. Some are done in scribbles of crayon while other have layers of collage. The variety of the media used adds so much dimension to the book, the stone seen in different ways in an organic way.

Brilliant. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: Back to School by Maya Ajmera

Back to School by Maya Ajmera.jpg

Back to School by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko (9781580898379)

Filled with incredible photographs, this nonfiction picture book explores the different ways that children attend school throughout the world. Some children are homeschooled, others are taught at night, still others study in crowded classrooms. Children take different transportation to school from buses to camels to boats. Some children wear uniforms to school while others wear regular clothes. In all schools though, you learn math and reading. You understand the world better; you make friends.

The text of this book is simple and straight-forward, making it just right for even the youngest children heading to school. Each photograph adds to the larger story of going to school by explaining what is happening in each vivid image and what country the children are from. The photographs are stunning, filled with children from across the globe and offering real glimpses into their lives at school.

Just right for starting a new school year, this is a smile-filled joyous look at learning. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Charlesbridge.