Rock from the Sky
by Klassen, Jon






The Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the Hat trilogy presents a hilariously deadpan meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, foresight and the funny feeling that something is off, when two companions stand in a perfectly good spot that may be hit, sometime, by a falling rock. Illustrations.





Jon Klassen is the author-illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, an E. B. White Read-Aloud Award winner and a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book; This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal; and We Found a Hat. He is also the illustrator of two Caldecott Honor Books, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn, both written by Mac Barnett. Jon Klassen lives in Los Angeles.





*Starred Review* Turtle has a favorite spot to stand in, but his friend Armadillo has a bad feeling about it and isn't sure why. It may have something to do with the huge rock hurtling through the sky toward that exact spot. In this latest book from Caldecott medalist Klassen, the reader follows three hat-wearing creatures through five related stories as they narrowly escape death (but are really quite zen about it), navigate friendship and jealousy, and imagine the future together (which may or may not include aliens). A savant of deadpan storytelling, Klassen offers a long-form picture book that is high in suspense and humor. Using the wonderful technique of color-coding the sparse and cheeky dialogue so that you know instinctively who is speaking, this book feels every bit as theatrical as the Hat trilogy. Klassen's recognizable art style, featuring muted hues and speckled watercolors, utilizes sparse landscapes and open skies to keep the reader's full attention on the story's quirky characters, while carefully placed, wordless spreads heighten both tension and humor or bring resolution. His ability to create so much dark humor with so few words and to infuse his critters with such a depth of personality is part of why Klassen's work is so beloved, as this new addition promises to be.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Klassen has developed a cult following among critics and picture-book readers, plus he's promoting this book with a 15-city tour. Grades K-3. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.





If Samuel Beckett had written an early reader, it might look something like this one. In the first of five chapters, Klassen places his now-familiar turtle and armadillo (wearing bowler hats) on a minimalist gray/green landscape with one flower and‚?"on the facing page‚?"one plant. Personalities are revealed through occasional, slow movement across the gutter together with color-coded dialogue that feels as if it is being invented in the moment, sans script. Turtle is inflexible, not wanting to relocate, even when Armadillo moves farther away after a bad feeling about the space. It is only when Snake (sporting a beret) appears near the mammal that Turtle joins them‚?"just in time: A huge asteroid falls on the vacated spot. Readers have watched it coming, suspense effectively building as they turn the pages. In subsequent episodes, Armadillo attempts to be helpful; miscommunication abounds; and Turtle is stubborn, proud, and jealous of the unspeaking snake, now near the rock: "I see how it is. Just enough room for two." Turtle playing the martyr: "Maybe I will never come back." As daylight turns into a striking, rose-tinged sunset and then a starlit evening, a life-zapping extraterrestrial (created previously in Armadillo‚??s futuristic forest fantasy) stalks Turtle. At the last minute, a second asteroid annihilates the creature. Klassen‚??s animals react to their seemingly absurd‚?"but never tragic‚?"universe with characteristically subtle, humorous postures and eye maneuvers. The weirdness of it all exerts its own attractive force, drawing readers back to it to wonder and ponder. Waiting for Godot imagined for the playground population‚??s sensibilities. (Early reader. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





If Samuel Beckett had written an early reader, it might look something like this one. In the first of five chapters, Klassen places his now-familiar turtle and armadillo (wearing bowler hats) on a minimalist gray/green landscape with one flower and‚?"on the facing page‚?"one plant. Personalities are revealed through occasional, slow movement across the gutter together with color-coded dialogue that feels as if it is being invented in the moment, sans script. Turtle is inflexible, not wanting to relocate, even when Armadillo moves farther away after a bad feeling about the space. It is only when Snake (sporting a beret) appears near the mammal that Turtle joins them‚?"just in time: A huge asteroid falls on the vacated spot. Readers have watched it coming, suspense effectively building as they turn the pages. In subsequent episodes, Armadillo attempts to be helpful; miscommunication abounds; and Turtle is stubborn, proud, and jealous of the unspeaking snake, now near the rock: "I see how it is. Just enough room for two." Turtle playing the martyr: "Maybe I will never come back." As daylight turns into a striking, rose-tinged sunset and then a starlit evening, a life-zapping extraterrestrial (created previously in Armadillo‚??s futuristic forest fantasy) stalks Turtle. At the last minute, a second asteroid annihilates the creature. Klassen‚??s animals react to their seemingly absurd‚?"but never tragic‚?"universe with characteristically subtle, humorous postures and eye maneuvers. The weirdness of it all exerts its own attractive force, drawing readers back to it to wonder and ponder. Waiting for Godot imagined for the playground population‚??s sensibilities. (Early reader. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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