After laying her beloved dog to rest, a girl finds peace with a smooth stone that has traveled the world through the ages, in this wordless picture book by Becker.
A young black girl collects flowers for her dog’s grave before the family leaves for vacation. At their campsite, they set up by the shore. Night is falling as the girl finds a smooth stone at the water’s edge. A pictorial transition leads to depictions of the stone’s formation under the earth as dinosaurs roamed. When the stone, enormous in the beginning, protrudes from the earth, it is carried to an ancient royal building and carved. Wars, looting, decay, and repurposing send the stone from one civilization to another, to be used in a religious monument, a bridge, a work of art. The golden stone seems to glow against the shades of gray and beige in the historical scenes, and again against the dark purple and mauve of the night at camp. When a voyage ends in a shipwreck, the stone sinks to the bottom of the sea and is later carried to shore, where the girl finds it. She looks at peace as she presses the stone to her face, eyes closed. In the final scene, the stone sits on the dog’s burial mound as the girl and her brother play. Readers will be enticed to explore this book’s beautiful, dreamlike pictures, and the message of healing will comfort many who have known loss.
Memorable and moving. (Picture book. 4-10)