Children's Literature - Armin A. Brott
Next time you're outside, pick up a pebble. Not a very inspiring sight, but, oh, the stories it could tell.... Inspired by Chris Coady's vivid paintings, readers follow a rock on its lonely, 400-million-year-long journey through barren landscapes and fiery volcanoes. We are there as it gets smashed by dinosaurs, dragged by glaciers, and used as a weapon by a hungry caveman. It's a wonderfully creative-and subtle-way of getting kids interested in history. Who would have thought you could learn so much from a rock?
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
A tiny girl holds a tiny pebble between her curious fingertips. "Where did you come from, pebble?" she asks. In answer, the author takes us back billions of years through layers of ash and rock. Mountains rise from the earth. Cracks holding water and ice expand over time, creating ponds, rivers, and then seas. The pebble, which hides under the earth, is driven to the surface again and takes rides along riverbanks and rock beds. Creatures swarm and slither along the swamps and forests. Eventually, creatures called dinosaurs grow and hunt the expanding lands. Over time, the horse, the mammoth, the hippo and the roaring saber-tooth tiger flourish. And the pebble travels on. Foundations are built and years pass. The pebble surfaces and is found by a curious little girl. The pebble's story continues. By beginning and ending with a simple pebble and including spectacular illustrations, this history of the earth prompts young readers to take a special look at the world around them. This book will be a welcome addition to an elementary science classroom or bedroom shelf. 1996, Viking, Ages 7 to 11, $14.99. Reviewer: Leslie JulianChildren's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-A child muses about the long history of a pebble, from its volcanic origins when the Earth was young to the day she picks it up off the ground. The conceit doesn't quite work, as the narrator sounds like an adult lecturer-"Two great landmasses, like giant plates, are colliding...It is 395 million years ago."-but the idea of using some common object or artifact as a springboard to the past is a tried-and-true one. Coady places an array of familiar, dramatically rendered dinosaurs and other flora and fauna in landscapes characteristic of each passing era. A timeline at the end includes labels for animals not previously named. More conventionally scientific than George Ella Lyon's Who Came Down That Road? (Orchard, 1992), this title makes an appealing alternative or replacement for Bruce Hiscock's The Big Rock (Atheneum, 1988).-John Peters, New York Public Library
A girl finds a pebble on the ground and asks, "Where did you come from, pebble?" The answer unfolds through words and pictures. The first double-page spread shows volcanoes erupting 480 million years ago, bringing molten rock to the surface of the earth; the next illustrates land masses colliding and buckling into mountains 395 million years ago. Page by page, the story goes forward in time, tracing one pebble's history as the face of the earth changes, animals become more complex, and finally a little girl picks up the pebble, "a little piece of the history of our planet." The last two pages feature geological and biological timelines laying out the periods dramatized in the story. Rich with color and shading, the paintings dramatize Earth's history. Considering the vastness of the topic, the text does a good job of balancing the general with the specific. Teachers will find this a good introduction to geology.
Hooper and Coady pass on a sense of wonder for the history contained in one small pebble in an outstanding picture-book overview of 480 million years.
The narrator, a young girl, holds a small pebble up and asks a simple question: "Where did you come from, pebble?" The book flashes back to the "beginning" of earth history, a dramatic spread of red hot volcanoes on the earth's crust spewing forth fire and rocks. One page and 85 million years later, the earth's surface is beginning to rise and buckle, rain and snow cause cracks in the rocks, and the first living things appear on the land. Seas rise and fall, fish give way to giant amphibians, amphibians give way to dinosaurs, then furry rodents, mammoths, early man, saber-toothed tigers, farms, houses, and modern times. The text never loses track of the pebble, worn smooth by rain and wind, packed into a new layer of rock forming under the sea, pushed up into mountains as the earth tilts and folds, and carried by glaciers to the field where the girl finds it. The final page offers a chronology with charts. A note makes clear that species are not drawn to scale, and other licenses taken. Coady provides spectacular paintings, given texture, weight, and movement by the strokes of his brush.