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The Jupiter Stone

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This striking picturebook chronicles the journey of a small striped stone-which bears an uncanny resemblance to the planet Jupiter-from its beginning in the heavens to its landing on primordial Earth to its return to space. Award-winning author/illustrator Paul Owen Lewis has created a simple yet never-ending story which will inspire more questions than it answers. First new book from author of STORM BOY in six years!Will inspire readers to gaze at the night sky and ...
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Overview

This striking picturebook chronicles the journey of a small striped stone-which bears an uncanny resemblance to the planet Jupiter-from its beginning in the heavens to its landing on primordial Earth to its return to space. Award-winning author/illustrator Paul Owen Lewis has created a simple yet never-ending story which will inspire more questions than it answers. First new book from author of STORM BOY in six years!Will inspire readers to gaze at the night sky and wonder.Abundant cross-curricular possibilities.

When a young boy finds a rock that had floated through space and landed on Earth millions of years earlier, he writes a letter to NASA asking them to return it to the heavens.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A beautifully eerie opening scene shows a meteorite falling through the earth's atmosphere. Over a series of naturalistic spreads, eons pass. The ecosystem changes from sea-bottom to sand with a minimum of text ("Millions of years passed.../ and passed..."). The feet of a dinosaur and a proto-human pass by. The elements smooth the pocked surface of the stone (which always manages to be on the surface), and its details resolve into a likeness of the planet Jupiter. At last, a boy in sneakers finds it on a pebbly beach, and his mother asks, "Where do you think it came from?" The book does not give the boy's hypotheses; instead, he appears next at a desk, surrounded by model rockets and science posters ("Inspired by the answer he found, the boy wrote a letter"). The following pages make another grand leap: A U.S. space shuttle takes off ("The stone was launched into orbit"), and a NASA astronaut uses the boy's slingshot to fling the stone into the void ("to tumble again in the vastness of space"). Such abrupt transitions skip deductive reasoning in their rush to get to the payoff. In the end, a green scaly "child" in an alien landscape finds the stone, continuing the sequence into infinity. Lewis (Frog Girl) urges readers to speculate on the origins of their surroundings. Yet, paradoxically, the book leaves little margin for the joy of discovery, unlike Kate Banks and George Hallensleben's virtuosic A Gift from the Sea (2001). Ages 6-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is very easy to think only of the here and now. Have I done my homework? Did I forget to turn off the computer? Is the plane supposed to leave at 10:10 or 10:30? In this book we begin somewhere far away; we begin in something so big that it cannot as yet be measured. We begin in space. We are taken away from the here and now and we forget about the laundry and the computer. We are taken on a wonderful journey. We take a journey with the simplest of objects, a stone. This stone has stripes on it, and it "looks like the planet Jupiter," says a boy who finds it. But before the boy finds this stone it has to travel through space, land on earth, and spend millions of years on earth as a passive visitor. If it could see. The stone would see evolution at work; the early fishes, the dinosaurs, early man. Instead, we the reader, get to see these things as the stone lies there. We get to see a boy pick up the "Jupiter stone" on a beach. So excited is the boy by the stone and its stripes that he writes a letter, and we can only guess what he says. What we know is that the "Jupiter Stone" is taken on another journey, back to space, where it came from-launched into that sea of blackness and carried off to, who knows where. And then, it lands on another planet and is found. With just a few words Paul Owen Lewis tells the most extraordinary story. All the little details of everyday life seem to melt away as you read this book. The stone becomes the center of a great and infinitely more important story. The acrylic illustrations which accompany the minimal text are truly remarkable, both subtle and taut in their clarity. In many of the double-page spreads the stone is the focus, always in the sameplace, and we only see the rest of the world "out of the corner of one eye" and yet it is enough; we know what is happening around the stone. This is a book to be pored over and discussed, timeless and ageless. 2003, Tricycle Press, Ages 6 up.
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Text and pictures work together to stretch the minds of viewers in this journey through time and space. A striped stone falls from the sky to Earth and remains buried for millions of years, over the course of many climate changes. Dinosaurs and nomads pass. Then one day, a boy picks it up. He researches its origins, writes to NASA, and the stone is sent on a launch, where an astronaut hurls it into the "vastness of space" for another child to find. The youngster on the planet where it lands looks nothing like a human, but the galaxies whirling overhead hold a beauty of their own. Lewis's shapes and colors of the cosmos have the hypnotic quality of lava lamps. The double-page vistas extend the viewers' sense of the passage of time. These images combine with only a few sentences to stimulate thinking about our place in the universe and the possibility that alternate worlds exist.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582461076
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

PAUL OWEN LEWIS lives near Seattle, Washington, and is the author/illustrator of eight books. When not stargazing, he is visiting schools and conferences across North America.
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