cover image A Stone for Sascha

A Stone for Sascha

Aaron Becker. Candlewick, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6596-8

Becker’s wordless epic starts as a family of color—mother, father, daughter, son—bury their dog, Sascha. The daughter puts flowers on the grave, and then the four set off on a trip to the beach, where the girl is seen standing at the water’s edge under a starry sky. Now the action shifts. In narrow, fast-moving panels, a meteor hurtles deep into the earth, a geological upthrust of a strange yellow stone results, and small human figures are seen quarrying it and carving it into an obelisk. Over the centuries, the stone is destroyed, fitted into a bridge, rescued from a debris pile, fashioned into a chest, brought to an island, and lost in the ocean, where at last, polished by the waves, it’s discovered—by the girl. In contrast to the watercolors of his Journey series, Becker uses digitally manipulated pastel strokes to give his spreads a thick, supersaturated feel. Yet, as in his previous work, the satisfaction flows from enchanting views of action that unfolds in fanciful scenes that range across time and cultures. Remnants of ancient history, readers will realize, may lie very close at hand, and, Becker suggests, perhaps nothing is ever truly lost. Ages 5–9. [em]Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (May) [/em]