Book Review of The Rock from the Sky
The Children’s Book Review
Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
Ages 3-5 | 96 Pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press (2021) | ISBN: 9781536215625
What to Expect: Space, relationships, imagination, anticipation.
In keeping with Jon Klassen’s other work, The Rock from the Sky is darkly, subtly funny, and deeply thought-provoking.
The turtle, the armadillo, and the snake are looking for the perfect spot to sit. This is not as easy as it sounds. The turtle thinks he has the perfect spot—but the others don’t like it very much. The others think they have found the perfect spot too, but it is so far away from the turtle’s spot that he has some trouble hearing them say so. After a massive asteroid falls on the turtle’s spot, it does not seem so perfect after all, but the turtle is determined to make it work, no matter what the others say or do. He might just succeed … if the universe doesn’t have any more surprises in store for him.
The three main characters are a study of opposites, illustrating the miscommunications and accidents that can occur when contrasting personalities and desires clash. The story unfolds through deadpan, minimalist conversation, with the characters’ expressions revealing as much as their words. Bleak illustrations in a muddy color palette evoke the slow passage of time in an atmosphere of frustration and doubt. Klassen’s iconic sense of humor prevents the story from being depressing, however, lifting the situation from grimness to absurdity.
The Rock from the Sky is a grown-up and delightful picture book from a true maestro of the genre.
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About the Author
Jon Klassen is a Canadian writer and illustrator of children’s books and an animator. He won both the American Caldecott Medal and the British Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s book illustration, recognizing the 2012 picture book This Is Not My Hat, which he also wrote.