Fossil

Bill Thomson. Amazon/Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4778-4700-8
Thomson follows his wordless picture book Chalk with another close encounter of the prehistoric kind. This time, a boy finds that when he splits open stones he finds along the shore of a lake, the plant and animal fossils inside them come to life. The boy trips after picking up a fist-sized stone, revealing a fossil fern leaf embedded within. Thus freed, the fern springs up in front of the boy and his cocker spaniel; dazzling light indicates its miraculous nature, and its source is made clear as the boy holds up the fossil to compare it to the fern. A dragonfly is released next, but when the boy releases a huge, scaly pterodactyl, it carries his dog away, and he must work out how to send the predator back to its extinct state. The pacing is tight, and Thomson’s lifelike art stuns on every page, enlivened further by dynamic angles, confident use of panel sequences and full-bleed spreads, and vivid close-ups of the boy’s shocked face. If anything, this adventure is even more effective than its predecessor. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/2013
Release date: 11/05/2013
Hardcover - 978-1-4805-3489-6
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