Petra (Marianna Coppo)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Petra by Marianna Coppo, a story about possibility.

Petra is a mountain, smooth, gray and oval, and she’s just fine with that. The world often changes around her, from dinosaurs to villages to knights to seasons. But when a gigantic stick is hurled overhead, quickly followed by a dog that dwarfs Petra, she realizes that she may be a pebble instead… or perhaps an egg, with some unknown creature inside, or an island that can weather storms and provide the shady shelter of palm trees. Others often refer to her simply as a rock, but Petra sees possibilities, and soon finds an unexpected friend who sees them too.

Clever and cute. The story, with its loose rules of dimension and scale, serve to raise the ideas of perspective, imagination, potential, and sense of self. Petra is always fine with being Petra, no matter what the future has in store for her, and that’s a really nice message to send to young readers. The illustrations do a wonderful job of imbuing a sense of life and personality to the little stone, especially with her hilarious facial expressions (a scowl on her tiny face during one moment made me chuckle aloud). The length is great, and JJ enjoyed it too. A unique, positive story for little readers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

A Stone For Sascha (Aaron Becker)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Stone For Sascha by Aaron Becker, a picture book that examines loss, time, permanence, and love.

The wordless story opens on a young girl collecting yellow flowers. She is bringing them back to her family, where they are holding a funeral for their recently deceased dog. She lays the flowers down over the large stone used to mark the grave and mourns. A short time later, the family leaves for a lakeside retreat. The girl is sad, watching other children play with their dogs, but at dusk she finds a small oval stone near the water. The art cuts to a large meteorite falling from space. It impacts, and the reader follows along as the stone takes an eons-long journey: first a sharp natural feature, then cut and carved into a rock circle centerpiece. With each new owner and destination, the rock finds new purpose: part of a great statue, a gifted sculpture, a stolen treasure. As history plays out around it, the rock remains, adapting to each new entity until at last, it finds itself at the shore of a lake, picked up by a little girl and brought to her home. She lays it on her dog’s grave in memory – a piece of time and the universe as the symbol of her love.

I mean. Wow. This felt like a book as much for adults as it was for children. The story is so moving and passionate without a single world, the concept is profound and humbling, and the art is incomparable. It’s remarkable in scope, moreso that it never feels like it reaches too far or goes too big – it encourages the reader to think about life and death and the passage of time as something that is enormous and vast and small and personal all at once. It’s breathtaking, awe-inspiring and yet comforting too. We loved it. Baby Bookworm approved.

Stick And Stone (Beth Ferry & Tom Lichtenheld)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read Stick And Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld, a positively charming book about best friends.

Stick and Stone are alone. Then one day, Stick sticks up for Stone when Pinecone teases him, and the two become fast friends. While the two are hanging out at the beach, a hurricane comes through and blows Stick away! Will Stone be able to find and help his friend the way that Stick helped him?

This was an incredibly sweet and delightful story. The rhymes are fun to read, and the length is great, but we liked the message about friendship and loyalty the best. The illustrations are just adorable, too. We loved this one! Baby Bookworm approved!