NONFICTION

Plymouth Rocks!: The Stone-Cold Truth

Charlesbridge. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781580896856.
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K-Gr 2–In this informative picture book, the anthropomorphic Plymouth Rock describes its history. An unnamed fact checker, who appears to be a light-skinned young woman with red glasses and a bun, confirms or corrects the rock’s story. The rock’s rhyming prose is written on an unrolled scroll of paper. Red ink is used to clarify or dispel the rock’s take on its own history. For example, “The disembarkers stepped on me,/ first footfalls toward their liberty,” claims the rock. However, the fact checker writes, “No large rock or stepping stone is mentioned in any of the travelers’ journals or logs.” Yolen also addresses the Indigenous community. The fact checker provides an honest account of how the colonizers impacted Native people: “More and more colonists soon arrived and took Native land to build their houses. They treated the Native people brutally and dishonestly.” Both Yolen’s text and Streed’s cartoon illustrations are inviting. At times the poetry is a tad awkward (“Now placed in/ a portico,/ my life once more/ is put on show”) but in general, the poetry keeps pace with the prose. This title is best suited to an audience who has some familiarity with Plymouth Rock.
VERDICT Humorous pictures supplement prose and poetry to create a unique, clever, engaging picture book about one aspect of early American history.

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