A stone is a story

Leslie Barnard Booth

Book - 2023

"A stone is not just a stone. A stone is a story. Journey across history to see how one stone changes and transforms, from magma, oozing under Earth's crust, to sand ground down by a rushing river, to the heart of a mountain. Watch what happens when rain, ice, and wind mold this rock into something new, something you might even hold in your hand and imagine all that is left for the stone to become. Leslie Barnard Booth weaves captivating prose to answer one of kids' most curious questions, "where do rocks come from?", brought to colorful life by Marc Martin's stunning illustrations"--

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room New Shelf jE/Barnard Booth (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Juvenile works
Picture books
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books 2023.
Main Author
Leslie Barnard Booth (author)
Other Authors
Marc Martin (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
40 unnumbered pages : chiefly illustrations (color) ; 26 x 28 cm
Ages 4-8
Grades 2-3
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

The forces of erosion ("A stone has been wrenched apart by roots"), deposition ("Bits of seaweed and shell and bone have . . . become part of it"), and metamorphosis ("Squeezed and scorched, it has transformed") on stones large and small are told here in a lyrical sentence per page. The text is set on a backdrop of lush, expressive watercolors of stones and the landscapes they form and inhabit, the colors mainly browns, greens, and grays, but with the odd splash of fiery lava or blue river offering contrast. The passage of vast time is shown by the stone reaching "the heart of . . . a mountain whittled by wind by rain by ice by time" and eventually landing on a beach where it's picked up by "you," to become inspiration for thoughts of a stone's story. A closing section, "Rocks: Not Set in Stone," describes the types of stones--igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic--and how they can change; this is followed by a helpful glossary of terms and ideas such as magma, tectonic plates, and the rock cycle. An attractive and informative option for budding geologists.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Despite their static appearance, stones move, change, and tell stories, debut author Barnard Booth details in a picture book that considers its subject in narrative terms. Considering a rock picked up by a brown-skinned child at water's edge, lines describe it as "not/ just a stone" but an entity that has experienced history on a geological and historical scale. In the lifetime of a stone, action-oriented text suggests, there's dynamism ("A stone has been lava, gushing"), destruction ("A stone has been wrenched apart by roots"), travel ("dragged by a glacier"), and transformation ("squeezed and scorched"). Working in watercolor wash whose bleeding and staining echo natural processes, Martin (Every Child a Song) paints scenes of a young planet and its natural life, lighting spreads with volcanic fire and primeval sunsets. Providing signposts about Earth's change from the beginning of time to the present day, Booth's study gives energy and intrigue to objects that seem deceptively quiet and ordinary--bringing history home via one stone held in a contemporary child's hand, then skipped on the water. Back matter includes a description of rock types. Ages 4--8. Author's agent: Claire Draper, Bent Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Productions. (Oct.)

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Review by Horn Book Review

"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. Danielle J. FordNovember/December 2023 p.95 (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

The many transformations minerals may undergo in the formation of stone are described in spare, lyrical text. "A stone has been wrenched apart by roots. // Crushed and dragged by a glacier. / Swept up in the foam of a rushing river. // Molded. / Carved. / Ground down to a speck of sand / and sent to the sea." And so it goes, various geologic forces eroding, then compressing the stone so that it cycles over the pages from igneous to sedimentary to metamorphic rock. These words do not appear in the primary text; rather, they are reserved for an author's note that describes the fundamentals of geology. The narrative itself consists of wispy lines set against muddy watercolors that will have readers wondering whether the author is referencing one stone or many--as well as when the story will begin. Adults flipping back and forth from the backmatter to the main text will see how the stone's progress tracks from one type of rock to the next, but concrete young thinkers will likely be befuddled. Just how does the stone that began as magma find itself "thrust upward, / skyward, / …risen / high / into the heart of a mountain"? The illustrations are likewise diffuse and even at times mystifying. Deb Pilutti's Old Rock (Is Not Boring) (2020) covers similar ground with both clarity and a compelling central character; share it with budding geologists instead. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A stone may be a story, but this is not. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.