A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –This wordless story begins with a framed image of a girl embracing her dog. In the next spread, she gathers flowers for its burial.

redstarBECKER, Aaron. A Stone for Sascha. illus. by Aaron Becker. 46p. Farrar. May 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780763665968.

K-Gr 3 –This wordless story begins with a framed image of a girl embracing her dog. In the next spread, she gathers flowers for its burial. Subsequent readings reveal the foreshadowing in these opening compositions. The title’s golden hue—echoed in the flowers, necklaces worn by the girl and her father, and more—is the color to follow. After the protagonist tosses a stone across the water during the family’s subsequent vacation, the narrative hurtles into a prehistoric meteor shower (or the girl’s imagination) yielding veins of gold deep in the earth. Digital paintings presented in sequential panels and full-bleed spreads follow the pilfering and transformation of this particular mineral sample. The parade of civilizations rising and falling into ruin allows Becker to depict a range of architectural styles and costumes, creating the sort of arresting panoramas introduced in the “Journey” trilogy. Here, though, browns and grays comprise the palette of the past; the scenes are infused with more sfumato, as if seen through the mists of time before believably bringing the action back to the present day. VERDICT Combining a sensitive story line with high adventure and dramatic settings, this will inspire a variety of readers to envision histories of their own found objects.–Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal April 2018 issue.

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