Worry Stone

( 1 )

Overview

Folks say if you're troubled or worried, and if you rub the stone gently, like this, the worry goes away. Every day the woman walks to the park, the bright red feather bobbing on her floppy old hat. She watches the children play and tries not to think about her own children, scattered to the winds, and herself, growing older each day. Then one day a small, serious boy joins her on the park bench, and she realizes that once she was small and serious, too, but she had Grandfather—and his stories—to make life ...

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Overview

Folks say if you're troubled or worried, and if you rub the stone gently, like this, the worry goes away. Every day the woman walks to the park, the bright red feather bobbing on her floppy old hat. She watches the children play and tries not to think about her own children, scattered to the winds, and herself, growing older each day. Then one day a small, serious boy joins her on the park bench, and she realizes that once she was small and serious, too, but she had Grandfather—and his stories—to make life wonderful. Perhaps there is a way to share that wonder. The Worry Stone is three tales woven together, the way human lives are connected despite distance and time. It pays homage to the first people of California's Ojai Valley, the Chumash Indians, and the power of folktales spoken aloud. Written and illustrated with loving hands, The Worry Stone shows us how the stories of the past can join with the unfolding future, turning one lonely old woman and one lonely young boy into friends.

When a small, serious boy joins Amanda on the park bench, she remembers that once she was small and serious too, but she had Grandfather--and his wonderful stories.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-A lonely, elderly woman visits the park each day, where she notices a lonely boy, who sits on the bench by her. He is silent, watching the other children play. The unhappy youngster reminds her of her own childhood when she was comforted by a special closeness with her grandfather. She especially enjoyed her grandfather's stories, including one regarding a stone she'd found. Her grandfather calls it a worry stone, and spins a tale around it involving the Chumash people. When her grandfather dies, the child remembers it and is comforted. Now an old woman, she shares the stone and its stories with the boy on the bench. This sincere effort has a heavy touch. The telling is marred by an excess of sentiment and clichs e.g., a "hacienda on the edge of time". Gerig's watercolor illustrations are pretty, but overly romanticized, awash in lovely if unlikely color. Dengler's tale itself is profound and moving, if less than convincing. This book will find its most sympathetic audience among adults who have felt the power of stories in their lives.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Three stories nest together but never mesh in this sentimental picture-book debut.

An old woman—in a floppy hat with a red feather—sits in the park daily, and a small boy, ignored by his peers, sits with her in silence. She recalls the loneliness of her own childhood, assuaged by her grandfather, a storyteller. When she brought him an unusual stone she had found, Grandfather told her the Chumash legend of the worry stone: If it is rubbed gently, "the worry goes away." The old woman gives her stone to the boy, with a story and a promise of more stories to come. Dengler notes she invented the Chumash legend at the center of the story; it's one in a series of contrivances that the gentle tone fails to disguise. Finely rendered watercolors have a pretty iridescence but don't draw readers into the many- layered, emotionally unsatisfying tale.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873586429
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 384,821
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    I found this book at our local library. I read it to a group of

    I found this book at our local library. I read it to a group of 3rd & 4th graders I work with. Because it is very detailed as it tells three stories in one, it is a great read aloud. I assure you the students will listen. The book is also great because it shows that people can help each other no matter their age or race. Everyone is important and we can learn something from everyone. I really enjoyed this book and plan to buy it for myself to use again and again. There are some hard to pronounce Indian words so you must read it through before you share it! I give this book 5 stars.

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