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A Stone for Sascha
Contributor(s): Becker, Aaron
ISBN: 0763665967     ISBN-13: 9780763665968
Publisher: Candlewick Pr
    OUR PRICE: $16.20  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: May 2018
Annotation: A little girl mourns the loss of her dog while walking along the beach during a first family vacation without him, discovering polished stones near the shoreline as well as profound and comforting truths, in a poignant, wordless picture book by the Caldecott Honor-winning creator of Journey.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Grief; Fiction.
Pets; Death; Fiction.
Dogs; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Death & Dying
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
- Juvenile Fiction | Historical
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: bl2018064350
Academic/Grade Level: Kindergarten, Ages 5-6
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.00" H x 9.75" W x 0.35" (1.20 lbs)
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #3)
Heartbreak turns into healing in this wordless tale about loss, the ways in which we ritualize grief, and the cyclical patterns of life on Earth, no less. A girl and her family bury their beloved dog in the yard, the girl's anguish apparent as she places flowers on the stone covering the burial spot. At the beach, the girl throws a rock into the ocean. ?Dramatically, viewers are then swept back to the time of the dinosaurs, witnessing a meteor strike the Earth. An early human later discovers part of the meteorite, a large, gold-colored chunk protruding from the ground. The meteorite makes its way through centuries, becoming progressively smaller—first it's used as an obelisk, then part of an enormous Buddha statue, then a keystone of a bridge, and so on—with dogs at each stop. Along with other rich tones (the brown of the girl's skin, blue-purple landscapes), Becker uses the color gold as a thread throughout the narrative to identify the meteorite's many iterations. In the end, the girl, under a sweeping night sky, picks up the very stone that has worked its way through time and places it on the grave of her dog. This circular, layered tale is marked by Becker's sumptuous, cinematic spreads. Even more epic than his Journey trilogy (Journey, rev. 9/13, and sequels), this is a story that provides new details and new understandings with multiple viewings. julie Danielson Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 March #2)

Becker's wordless epic starts as a family of color—mother, father, daughter, son—bury their dog, Sascha. The daughter puts flowers on the grave, and then the four set off on a trip to the beach, where the girl is seen standing at the water's edge under a starry sky. Now the action shifts. In narrow, fast-moving panels, a meteor hurtles deep into the earth, a geological upthrust of a strange yellow stone results, and small human figures are seen quarrying it and carving it into an obelisk. Over the centuries, the stone is destroyed, fitted into a bridge, rescued from a debris pile, fashioned into a chest, brought to an island, and lost in the ocean, where at last, polished by the waves, it's discovered—by the girl. In contrast to the watercolors of his Journey series, Becker uses digitally manipulated pastel strokes to give his spreads a thick, supersaturated feel. Yet, as in his previous work, the satisfaction flows from enchanting views of action that unfolds in fanciful scenes that range across time and cultures. Remnants of ancient history, readers will realize, may lie very close at hand, and, Becker suggests, perhaps nothing is ever truly lost. Ages 5–9. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 April)

K-Gr 3—This wordless story begins with a framed image of a girl embracing her dog. In the next spread, she gathers flowers for its burial. Subsequent readings reveal the foreshadowing in these opening compositions. The title's golden hue—echoed in the flowers, necklaces worn by the girl and her father, and more—is the color to follow. After the protagonist tosses a stone across the water during the family's subsequent vacation, the narrative hurtles into a prehistoric meteor shower (or the girl's imagination) yielding veins of gold deep in the earth. Digital paintings presented in sequential panels and full-bleed spreads follow the pilfering and transformation of this particular mineral sample. The parade of civilizations rising and falling into ruin allows Becker to depict a range of architectural styles and costumes, creating the sort of arresting panoramas introduced in the "Journey" trilogy. Here, though, browns and grays comprise the palette of the past; the scenes are infused with more sfumato, as if seen through the mists of time before believably bringing the action back to the present day. VERDICT Combining a sensitive story line with high adventure and dramatic settings, this will inspire a variety of readers to envision histories of their own found objects.—Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.