The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life
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The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life

by Sarah Thompson, Jimmy Liao, Sarah L. Thomson
     
 

From internationally renowned author and illustrator Jimmy Liao comes a new enchanting and evocative journey. Breathtaking illustrations and a haunting story take readers on a wondrous voyage around the world.


A large, beautiful blue stone is discovered in a forest. It is cut in half, and one half stays in the forest while the other starts

Overview

From internationally renowned author and illustrator Jimmy Liao comes a new enchanting and evocative journey. Breathtaking illustrations and a haunting story take readers on a wondrous voyage around the world.


A large, beautiful blue stone is discovered in a forest. It is cut in half, and one half stays in the forest while the other starts on a long and mystical journey through many places, many owners, and many transformations. It begins as a statue of an elephant, admired by museum goers, and then becomes a carved bird residing in an elderly woman's garden. It becomes a moon, a cat, a necklace, and more, until it finally returns to the forest. The Blue Stone is a powerful tale of different life paths and possibilities, a longing for home, and love.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 3 to 7.

This is a quiet book which gives the reader a sense of peace imparted through the illustrations as well as the text. The large blue stone lies in the forest for ages and people love to come and admire the beauty of the stone. They decide they want to take the stone and so they break it in half. Here is where the story line is a bit confusing, as it would appear they are taking the entire stone. But it seems that they only take half and that half is made into many things. Nonetheless, the stone is realized as a character and readers, young and old, will accept it as such. The stone goes through many transformations, always longing to return to the forest. It is shaped into an elephant, a bird, the moon, a cat, and even a heart-shaped pendant for a young girl before it is finally small enough to drift across the ocean. The stone, although taking many shapes, is still the same stone no matter the alterations. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford

School Library Journal

Gr 1-5

A blue stone begins its journey after lying in a forest for thousands of years. When people see it, they marvel at its beauty, split it into two, and take half away. It is carved into a large elephant, and even though people love the sculpture, the stone remembers its home, its heart breaks, and it crumbles into many pieces. Throughout the rest of the book, the stone is continually rediscovered and re-created into different, smaller artworks, its beauty hidden by coats of paint. Each time, its heart breaks, until it is nothing but specks of dust that float away, finally settling back in the original forest next to its other half. Similar in tone to Liao's The Sound of Colors (Little, Brown, 2005), this moody, atmospheric picture book explores complex themes of sadness and loss. The deep gem tones of the watercolor illustrations depict a mysterious, lonely world and effectively portray nighttime scenes. The book approaches the threshold of melancholia, but never quite topples over the brink. Instead, it is a quiet examination of time and space, heartbreak and woe, and, ultimately, a contemplation of heart and self. When shared with students, this sophisticated work could lead to discussions about creativity, the heroic quest to find one's way back home, the changes that occur on the journey of self-discovery, and the need to find one's place in the world.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI

Kirkus Reviews
From the artist who brought us The Sound of Colors (2006) comes a book by turns haunting and beautiful. When a blue stone that lies at the heart of a forest is split into two, one half is taken away. The piece that leaves yearns to return to the forest but instead finds itself transformed over and over, carved into an elephant, a bird, a fish, and a moon. Over the years, it crumbles a little when it thinks of home, and it is turned into smaller and smaller objects like a juggling ball or a heart on a necklace. Finally, when the stone is nothing but dust, it blows across the ocean back to the forest where it is reunited with its other half. There is a meditative simplicity and sweet sadness to Liao's imagery. At 80 pages it defies normal categorization, but the text never overstays its welcome. An effective allegory for any person who has ever longed for home, however they choose to define it, although perhaps too remote in its metaphor for many children. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316113830
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/19/2008
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.12(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jimmy Liao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and received a degree in design from the Chinese Culture University. He is the author and illustrator of 18 hugely popular books that have been translated into English, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. His first book for Little, Brown, The Sound of Colors, was published March 2006.

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