The Rock from the Sky
Jon Klassen, Author/Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Fiction, Apr. 13, 2021
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Animals, Falling rocks, Sky, Friendship, Humor
Opening: “I like standing in this spot. It is my favorite spot to stand. I don’t want to stand anywhere else.”
There is a spot.
It is a good spot.
It is the perfect spot to stand.
There is no reason to ever leave.
But somewhere above there is also a rock.
A rock from the sky.
Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.
Why I like this book:
Classic Jon Klassen absurdity and dark, dry humor that children will find silly and beg for more. It is also a story about inflexibility, fate, premonitions/feelings, imagination and friendship. There are three quirky, big-eyed characters — turtle, armadillo and a snake — all sporting hats.
The book text is spare and is written in five chapters — The Rock, The Fall,, The Future, The Sunset and No More Room — although each chapter feels more like a vignette.
The illustrations are classic Klassen with his muted pallet — a desert-like setting, two plants, a big open sky and two big rocks that fall from the sky. A fun read for the entire family or in the classroom.
Jon Klassen is the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling I Want My Hat Back, which won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, and its companions This Is Not My Hat, which won a Caldecott Medal and a Kate Greenaway Medal, and We Found a Hat, named a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year. He is also the illustrator of Extra Yarn, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Triangle, and Square, all by Mac Barnett, and House Held Up by Trees by Td Kooser. Originally from Nagara Falls, Ontario, Jon Klassen now lives in Los Angeles.