THE WRETCHED STONE by Chris Van Allsburg

THE WRETCHED STONE

Age Range: 4 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The two-time Caldecott winner continues the didactic vein of Just a Dream (1990). Captain Hope records the eerie events during a voyage of the Rita Anne. His crew is hard-working and ``accomplished in other ways''--they enjoy reading, music, and storytelling. Even so, after they stop on an island and bring back a mysterious rock with one smooth face that gives off a ``peculiar light,'' the men do nothing but watch it. Mesmerized, they sit transfixed until they are transformed into apes who don't even help when the ship is disabled in a storm. So, fortunately, is the stone, and Hope finds that the men are gradually returned to themselves as he reads to them. The artist's elegantly structured, richly shadowed paintings suggest more enigmatic depth than the story delivers, while the starkly boxed text interrupts the visual flow of each spread. Even so, a handsome setting for a valuable message, presented with some imagination and humor. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-395-53307-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991




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