FICTION

Bring Me a Rock

illus. by Daniel Miyares. 40p. S. & S. Jun. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781481446020.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—As in Miyares's Pardon Me!, creatures stand in for humans, allowing the author plenty of latitude to explore less than exemplary behavior. In this leafy world, the grasshopper king's first words are the titular command; he desires a "majestic pedestal." The colorful parade of insects produce a variety of gray rocks that reach toward the sky as the assembly progresses, but the ruler is unimpressed. When the littlest fellow presents his pebble, the king dismisses the offering and the bug in a disdainful rant. The digitally manipulated watercolors portray a verdant habitat. Full-bleed spreads alternate with small cameos on white backgrounds for a pleasing variety. Extreme shifts in perspective enhance the drama—first, the king's enormous body crosses the gutter to stare down at the tiny insect cowering in the corner. Later, the reclining royal sips his drink (replete with a miniature cocktail umbrella) from a dizzying aerial viewpoint. Suddenly, the tower starts to teeter. When the smallest citizen's contribution saves the day, the chagrined king grants him a favor. Ultimately all the insects are elevated to the same level. Children with bossy classmates or siblings will recognize the type, and the situation will certainly be familiar to those who have heard Aesop's fables.
VERDICT This artist's engaging caricatures offer a fresh tale replete with humor, as well as a wordless conclusion that is open to interpretation. There is much here to spark classroom discussion about feelings and the role of the silent observers.

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