Fossil

( 2 )

Overview

When a boy and his dog go for a hike, the boy trips on a fossil, and it comes to life, revealing an ancient plant. The boy is so intrigued that he breaks two more fossils that come to life—a dragonfly and a pteranodon. When these prehistoric creatures collide with present reality, the boy must figure out a way to make things go back to normal. Visually told through art, this "wordless story" will surely spark imagination and creativity. ...
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Overview

When a boy and his dog go for a hike, the boy trips on a fossil, and it comes to life, revealing an ancient plant. The boy is so intrigued that he breaks two more fossils that come to life—a dragonfly and a pteranodon. When these prehistoric creatures collide with present reality, the boy must figure out a way to make things go back to normal. Visually told through art, this "wordless story" will surely spark imagination and creativity.

A 2014 Parents' Choice Award Recommended Picture Book

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
Thomson follows his wordless picture book Chalk with another close encounter of the prehistoric kind. This time, a boy finds that when he splits open stones he finds along the shore of a lake, the plant and animal fossils inside them come to life. The boy trips after picking up a fist-sized stone, revealing a fossil fern leaf embedded within. Thus freed, the fern springs up in front of the boy and his cocker spaniel; dazzling light indicates its miraculous nature, and its source is made clear as the boy holds up the fossil to compare it to the fern. A dragonfly is released next, but when the boy releases a huge, scaly pterodactyl, it carries his dog away, and he must work out how to send the predator back to its extinct state. The pacing is tight, and Thomson’s lifelike art stuns on every page, enlivened further by dynamic angles, confident use of panel sequences and full-bleed spreads, and vivid close-ups of the boy’s shocked face. If anything, this adventure is even more effective than its predecessor. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Jill Walton
There is magic and mystery and wonder when this adventure is read over and over. The artwork contrasts the contemporary world of a boy and his dog exploring a shoreline with the hidden prehistoric records under their feet. The boldness of acrylics and colored pencil defines the blend of reality and the fanciful as fossils embedded in rock wordlessly reveal the giant ferns and the ancient creatures that flew. The adventure begins when the boy picks up an interesting rock. While he is engrossed in studying the rock pattern, he trips on a small limb of driftwood partially buried in sand. The small rock flies out of his hand, hits a larger rock, and its shards reveal the imprint of a fern. Giant ferns appear in the landscape as the dog digs up another interesting rock that the boy cracks open. From the small dragonfly fossil, a dragonfly with a body the size of the boy's arm takes flight. And then, they find another major rock to crack open for a fossil release. That fossil springs to life and flies away with the dog! But the boy has an idea. This book is appropriate for all ages. Elementary-age children will explore the richness of the meanings in the drawings and identify with the boy's curiosity and ingenuity. Reviewer: Jill Walton
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-25
Exploring a lakeshore, a boy and his dog find a series of rocks which, when broken, reveal fossils that come alive in this wordless but vaguely menacing narrative. The first rock breaks by accident; a bit of fern emerges and takes root. It takes purposeful effort to reveal the next two, but out comes an oversized dragonfly and then a pterodactyl. Thomson's hyper-realistic art uses exaggerated and unusual perspectives to emphasize the boy's heavy human hand and large feet, the size of the prehistoric reptile, and the boy's expressions of shock and awe. Some images are framed in insets on top of the wider vistas on the spread. The art, done by hand using acrylic paint and colored pencils, is almost photographic in its detail. Figures and stones alike are set against a background of cloudless blue sky and an expanse of sand; some greenery in the background provides a horizon. As in his wordless Chalk (2010), Thomson's images come to life, but this story is disturbingly destructive. Although the author opens with a note about fossils, "By studying fossils, we can learn a lot about prehistoric life," the boy destroys them to save his dog, carried away on the pterodactyl's back--a mixed message indeed. Sometimes imagination can take you too far. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477847008
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 293,872
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Thomson was immediately embraced by the children's book community when Karate Hour was released with his dramatic, extraordinary illustrations. This book was followed by Building with Dad, Baseball Hour, and Soccer Hour, all by Carol Nevius. But when Bill's own book, Chalk - that he conceived and illustrated without an author - was released in spring 2010, his reputation really took off. That book was short-listed for the Caldecott Award and has sold upwards of 30,000 print copies. Bill is also Associate Professor of Illustration at the University of Hartford. He and his wife, Diann, have three sons and live in Southington, CT.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    NO WORDS- the reader creates the story! Beautifully illustrated

    NO WORDS- the reader creates the story! Beautifully illustrated wordless adventure that allows children to develop inference and  storytelling skills.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    wordless picture book

    Love it! A must for all elementary school libraries!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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