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SECRETS OF THE STONE by Harriet Peck Taylor


by Harriet Peck Taylor & illustrated by Harriet Peck Taylor

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-36648-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Readers who enjoyed Peck’s Ulaq and the Northern Lights (1998) will also enjoy this tale in which animals of the desert southwest discover Native American petroglyphs on the walls of a cave and recognize pictures of their own ancestors in the rock art. Coyote, who futilely chases Jackrabbit, falls asleep and dreams about animals, hunters, and a mysterious flute player of long ago. The southwestern-inspired border designs, the animals, and the red rock landscapes are colorfully executed in batik. Although the story is slight, and the notion of animals building a fire and gathering around it to keep warm seems a bit odd, anyone who has ever encountered rock art and wondered what it means, or who has sensed spirits of the past in special places, will identify with the animals’ experience. There may be some concern that the spiritual significance of the petroglyphs, which are sacred to many of today’s pueblo people, has been treated too lightly, but overall this is a pleasant, if somewhat facile, introduction for young readers to southwestern animals, landscapes, and rock art. (Picture book. 4-8)