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A Stone Sat Still

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The follow-up to They All Saw a Cat A Stone Sat Still tells the story of a seemingly ordinary rock—but to the animals that use it, it is a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven...even an entire world.


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The follow-up to They All Saw a Cat A Stone Sat Still tells the story of a seemingly ordinary rock—but to the animals that use it, it is a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven...even an entire world.

30 review for A Stone Sat Still

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Described on the dust-jacket flap as a companion to author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel's Caldecott Honor-winning They All Saw A Cat , this new picture-book also explores perspective. Centering around the eponymous stone, the narrative here explores the stone's existence - the many uses it serves to various creatures in the wild, and the various positions it holds, depending upon the size and outlook of the being examining it. In the end, the stone sits and endures, while everything around it cha Described on the dust-jacket flap as a companion to author/illustrator Brendan Wenzel's Caldecott Honor-winning They All Saw A Cat , this new picture-book also explores perspective. Centering around the eponymous stone, the narrative here explores the stone's existence - the many uses it serves to various creatures in the wild, and the various positions it holds, depending upon the size and outlook of the being examining it. In the end, the stone sits and endures, while everything around it changes... The third picture-book that Wenzel has both written and illustrated, and the eighth he has worked on overall, A Stone Sat Still pairs a simple but thought-provoking text that emphasizes the stone's many roles in the world it inhabits with gorgeous multi-media artwork. I don't know that this one struck me quite as strongly as They All Saw A Cat , but there was something about it - perhaps a feeling of quietude, similar to what one feels when sitting still, out in the natural world? - that makes it very appealing. Recommended to fellow fans of Brendan Wenzel, and to anyone looking for lovely new picture-books about perspective and/or nature.

  2. 4 out of 5

    La Coccinelle

    I read They All Saw a Cat earlier this year. I have to say, that one was just okay for me. I think I enjoyed A Stone Sat Still a lot more. Both books are about different perspectives, but they approach the topic in slightly different ways. They All Saw a Cat shows how various creatures see the cat that's prowling through the scenes. A Stone Sat Still is more about how the stone--a steady constant--influences the lives of the various creatures that encounter it. The pictures are interesting, thou I read They All Saw a Cat earlier this year. I have to say, that one was just okay for me. I think I enjoyed A Stone Sat Still a lot more. Both books are about different perspectives, but they approach the topic in slightly different ways. They All Saw a Cat shows how various creatures see the cat that's prowling through the scenes. A Stone Sat Still is more about how the stone--a steady constant--influences the lives of the various creatures that encounter it. The pictures are interesting, though not quite as fascinating as in They All Saw a Cat. The tone gets a little heavy toward the end, too, with the environmental message. But I still think it's a worthwhile book to read, as it shows how one thing can be perceived and used in so many different ways. Quotable moment:

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Like many other readers, I adored They All Saw a Cat and Hello Hello, this author/illustrator's previous two picture books. His latest offering only serves to add to my admiration for him and his work. As he has done in the previous two books, he explores perspective, this time focusing on a stone. It's clear that this rock has been around for a long time, and various animals use it as a landing place, a spot on which to eat or perch or crack a shell to reveal a meal. For some of it, it's quite Like many other readers, I adored They All Saw a Cat and Hello Hello, this author/illustrator's previous two picture books. His latest offering only serves to add to my admiration for him and his work. As he has done in the previous two books, he explores perspective, this time focusing on a stone. It's clear that this rock has been around for a long time, and various animals use it as a landing place, a spot on which to eat or perch or crack a shell to reveal a meal. For some of it, it's quite large, but for others, they are almost overwhelmed by its enormity. Again, it all depends on their perspective and size. But as this meditation moves to its conclusion, it seems to shift slightly so that readers are invited to think about what a stone like this or a place like this might mean to them, perhaps a place of shared joy with family members or a spot for solitary contemplation. For me, it's hard not to consider the strong environmental message present in the text and illustrations and consider what will be left after we are all gone--perhaps only that stone and others like it. As its creator clearly intended, I was left contemplating nature's beauty and pondering the effects of humans on the environment and wondering just how much time we have left to repair the wounds we've inflicted on Mother Earth. Created with cut paper, colored pencil, oil pastels, marker, and the computer, the illustrations warrant closer examination, and the text will surely invite discussion. This is a gentle yet insistent picture book that makes readers think. I loved it, and it stands up to repeated readings.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Holy moly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    I have been waiting so long for the release of this book! It is described as a companion to his remarkable Caldecott award winning, They All Saw A Cat. It is glorious! Although there is much going on inside, the book has a quiet contemplative feel to it. It is hard to believe this is only Brendan Wenzel's 8th book. I consider him a picture book great. His work is as wonderful as masters such as Lane Smith, Kevin Henkes, Jerry Pinkney, Sophie Blackall and Eric Carle. A Stone Sat Still is absolute I have been waiting so long for the release of this book! It is described as a companion to his remarkable Caldecott award winning, They All Saw A Cat. It is glorious! Although there is much going on inside, the book has a quiet contemplative feel to it. It is hard to believe this is only Brendan Wenzel's 8th book. I consider him a picture book great. His work is as wonderful as masters such as Lane Smith, Kevin Henkes, Jerry Pinkney, Sophie Blackall and Eric Carle. A Stone Sat Still is absolutely Caldecott worthy. I can't wait to see what Wenzel creates next!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brindi Michele

    I liked it, but it was a tad too long. Great for programs/storytimes for thinking outside the box of what things can be...such as the book What To Do With a Box or the one about a stick (the title is escaping me right now!).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    First of all, it's gorgeous. It's also quiet and thoughtful and begs for multiple slow readings. There's the trademark Wenzel multiple perspectives, but there are layers of meaning that go quite deep.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    A naturally illustrated book that can help a child see the possibilities in even the simplest things like a rock. Thanks to Cybil who gets the credit for this shelving.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Brendan Wenzel just keeps getting knocking it out of the park. For me, this latest endeavor was very nearly picture-book-perfection: whimsical, rhythmic, beautiful, and brimming with big ideas and new perspectives.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Brilliant! Quiet, thoughtful and calming but with charming details for the alert reader.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Earl

    A contemplative picture book about perspective- of what a thing is in a particular time and what it becomes over time through various lenses. A book worth rereading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This book is very similar to his previous picture book, They All Saw a Cat. The look, feel, size, etc of the rock depends on who is looking at it, using it, time of year, etc. Beautiful illustrations and a nice gentle story. Great for a read-aloud with 4-7 y/o or a one-on-one reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy Fitzgerald

    Another stunning book about perspective from the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Medal and Honor Book, Brendan Wenzel, comes his newest triumph, A Stone Sat Still. This simple stone is many things to many animals. It all depends on how they view the stone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Stunning illustrations Excellent mentor text for perspective Uplifting reminder that life goes on

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (FabBookReviews)

    A stone sat still with the water, grass, and dirt and it was as it was where it was in the world. The companion to They All Saw A Cat, the much-loved and critically acclaimed picture book from author and illustrator Brendan Wenzel, A Stone Sat Still returns to themes of perspective and animal habitat to bring readers a remarkable and effecting story. Opening on the determined yet gentle path of a snail, Wenzel's latest story takes readers on the awe-inspiring odyssey of a single stone, as seen A stone sat still with the water, grass, and dirt and it was as it was where it was in the world. The companion to They All Saw A Cat, the much-loved and critically acclaimed picture book from author and illustrator Brendan Wenzel, A Stone Sat Still returns to themes of perspective and animal habitat to bring readers a remarkable and effecting story. Opening on the determined yet gentle path of a snail, Wenzel's latest story takes readers on the awe-inspiring odyssey of a single stone, as seen by a parade of animals. A quiet, warm resting place for a snake, a smooth surface for a porcupine, a rough cut terrain for a slug, an ominous hill for a beetle, "a maze, a danger, a haven", it seems miraculous that one stone can be so many things to so many! As with They All Saw A Cat, A Stone Sat Still plays with vantage point: constant changes in perspective show the reader just how many wondrous things- possibly an indefinite number of things- a stone can be to many different living creatures. Wenzel's story also wonderfully illustrates how passages of time both short- like a "blink"- and long- like an "age"- can change a seemingly immovable object's surroundings in manners small and grand. Overall, A Stone Sat Still is truly mesmerizing and ingeniously told, with simple yet gorgeous rhyming verses and a magical refrain. Speaking to large concepts such as time, nature, permanence and the melancholy of impermanence, A Stone Sat Still is another visual and storytelling wonder from Brendan Wenzel. Note: Check under the dust jacket of A Stone Sat Still- if you can- for a beautiful design surprise! While A Stone Sat Still is listed as a companion piece to They All Saw A Cat, you do not necessarily have to have read one to understand or appreciate the other; however (!), I would absolutely recommend reading, experiencing, and sharing both excellent works. For more of Brendan Wenzel's work that speaks directly to animal and ecological conservation, interested readers can check out Hello Hello and pair with A Stone Sat Still to prod further dialogue on endangered species and the loss of animal habitat in recent history. I received a copy of this title courtesy of Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Described as a companion to his award-winning They All Saw a Cat, this picture book builds upon the success of the first book to explore one stone. That stone is so much to different creatures. It can be a home, a kitchen, a hill. It can be smooth or rough, loud or quiet. It can be smelled or felt. It can be dark or light. It can be an island, or disappear under the water. Yet it is still there, a world in itself. This book is so impressive. It is a quiet picture book, exploring one specific ston Described as a companion to his award-winning They All Saw a Cat, this picture book builds upon the success of the first book to explore one stone. That stone is so much to different creatures. It can be a home, a kitchen, a hill. It can be smooth or rough, loud or quiet. It can be smelled or felt. It can be dark or light. It can be an island, or disappear under the water. Yet it is still there, a world in itself. This book is so impressive. It is a quiet picture book, exploring one specific stone and the many ways it can be experienced. The book has a refrain which lifts it beyond a list of different ways to view the stone: and it sat where it sat with the water, grass, and dirt and it was as it was where it was in the world. This is a book willing to be slow and thoughtful. It takes its own time and asks the reader or listener to do the same. It is grounded in the most wonderful of ways. The illustrations are simply amazing. They move forward with a feeling of time passing. Some are hazy while others are crisp. Some are done in scribbles of crayon while other have layers of collage. The variety of the media used adds so much dimension to the book, the stone seen in different ways in an organic way. Brilliant. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    Every page, every moment invites on a beautiful journey which goes nowhere and everywhere. This is the story of a stone, which sat still. It's a concept which will have kids wondering and maybe even smirking a little before the first page. But it's a book with wonderful depth and leads listeners on a journey into the amazing world of reality...which seems almost like fantasy. The illustrations are as dreamy as the journey itself and invite to imagination without going anywhere. A rainbow of color Every page, every moment invites on a beautiful journey which goes nowhere and everywhere. This is the story of a stone, which sat still. It's a concept which will have kids wondering and maybe even smirking a little before the first page. But it's a book with wonderful depth and leads listeners on a journey into the amazing world of reality...which seems almost like fantasy. The illustrations are as dreamy as the journey itself and invite to imagination without going anywhere. A rainbow of colors meld and swirl in just the right way to let details come through but with all the vastness of limitless possibilities attached. It's a treat simply to flip through the pages and gaze. The tale is almost poetic and while leading readers on this journey, still returns to a same, main verse—much like the sitting stone. The passage of time and the wonder of life and nature are illustrated in passing moments. And it demonstrates how changing and amazing even something as 'unimportant' as a stone can be. This is definitely a read I can recommend and is going onto my list of favorites for 2019. I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it so much that I am leaving my honest thoughts.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Margie

    You can't live in northern Michigan without encountering rocks. Just beneath the mostly sandy soil is an entire community of stones of every conceivable shape and size. When excavating to build the basement for a house now sitting on a hill, these giants were unearthed. Now they grace the top of the garden along a driveway. A day at the beach, near the tip of the Mitt, will yield Petoskey stones found primarily in Michigan. Large or small, this area has them all. Wherever you go, there they are. You can't live in northern Michigan without encountering rocks. Just beneath the mostly sandy soil is an entire community of stones of every conceivable shape and size. When excavating to build the basement for a house now sitting on a hill, these giants were unearthed. Now they grace the top of the garden along a driveway. A day at the beach, near the tip of the Mitt, will yield Petoskey stones found primarily in Michigan. Large or small, this area has them all. Wherever you go, there they are. You can pick them up, skip them on the water, use them to build a wall or sit for a bit to just listen or look. A Stone Sat Still (Chronicle Books, August 27, 2019) written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel (They All Saw a Cat, Caldecott Honor winner, and Hello Hello) is a wonderful imagining of sensory perceptions with respect to a stone. For all of you who have every wished an inanimate object could talk, this book speaks volumes. My full recommendation: https://librariansquest.blogspot.com/...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    From the author/illustrator of "They All Saw A Cat" comes another book about perspective. This time the perspective is about who uses it, and also time changing its environment. With gorgeous mixed-media illustrations, we see the stone "as it was/where it was in the world" that snail crawling up its side, bright in the moonlight with owl eyes staring, dark with a chipmunk nibbling a nut. Through seasons, the stone is covered with crimson leaves, shows blue in snow, a pebble as a moose steps ove From the author/illustrator of "They All Saw A Cat" comes another book about perspective. This time the perspective is about who uses it, and also time changing its environment. With gorgeous mixed-media illustrations, we see the stone "as it was/where it was in the world" that snail crawling up its side, bright in the moonlight with owl eyes staring, dark with a chipmunk nibbling a nut. Through seasons, the stone is covered with crimson leaves, shows blue in snow, a pebble as a moose steps over, but a hill to climb to an insect. There is much more to see! It's one to read and look, one to love.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Wenzel's illustrations never fail to astound, and I greatly appreciate his picture book commentary on perspective. In this case, the stone isn't just seen differently, but used in many ways by the surrounding animals. Its possibilities are seemingly endless, and if a stone can enjoy unlimited opportunities and roles, why do we try to shoehorn people into such narrow stereotypes? This one adds a subtle reminder to appreciate our own places of importance, whether a stone or a tree or a special nook Wenzel's illustrations never fail to astound, and I greatly appreciate his picture book commentary on perspective. In this case, the stone isn't just seen differently, but used in many ways by the surrounding animals. Its possibilities are seemingly endless, and if a stone can enjoy unlimited opportunities and roles, why do we try to shoehorn people into such narrow stereotypes? This one adds a subtle reminder to appreciate our own places of importance, whether a stone or a tree or a special nook or cranny. These places won't last forever.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy!

    So lovely. I loved Wenzel's They All Saw A Cat, and I think this one is as good, if not better. The text is so warm and soothing, and the illustrations are incredible. His use of a variety of mediums works really well to tell this story of a stone and all the different perspectives the creatures that interact with it have. I particularly love the cut paper porcupine.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Hnatiuk

    I loved @brendan_wenzel They All Saw a Cat but this book resonates with me even more. Billed as a companion book to its predecessor, A Stone Sat Still again tackles perspective - but I found this book more introspective making me think of the stone and my potential relationship. The stone is still, but depending upon what or who the stone can be loud and quiet, used as a kitchen, smooth or rough. This book could spark lots of discussion about nature, our perspective of the stone but also our pla I loved @brendan_wenzel They All Saw a Cat but this book resonates with me even more. Billed as a companion book to its predecessor, A Stone Sat Still again tackles perspective - but I found this book more introspective making me think of the stone and my potential relationship. The stone is still, but depending upon what or who the stone can be loud and quiet, used as a kitchen, smooth or rough. This book could spark lots of discussion about nature, our perspective of the stone but also our place in nature. A definite thumbs up and addition to libraries and classrooms.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    WOW! With gorgeous, muted, sometimes a little abstract artwork and a gentle, rhythmic, evocative text, this picture book presents a stone. Depending on the time of year or which animals are near, the stone can be different things: a pebble to a moose, a hill to a bug, etc. But the stone is also always itself, sitting where it sits as everything changes all around it. This is a great book to share ideas about perspective and how it changes and also mindfulness and seeing the possibilities in thin WOW! With gorgeous, muted, sometimes a little abstract artwork and a gentle, rhythmic, evocative text, this picture book presents a stone. Depending on the time of year or which animals are near, the stone can be different things: a pebble to a moose, a hill to a bug, etc. But the stone is also always itself, sitting where it sits as everything changes all around it. This is a great book to share ideas about perspective and how it changes and also mindfulness and seeing the possibilities in things. Pair with IF I WAS THE SUNSHINE for a philosophical reading session.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    September 2019 - this might be Wenzel's best book yet. It's got the perspective shifts of They All Saw A Cat, but there's more to the story here. It has a sense of time and change and grandeur, but also delightfully expressive animals. It reads aloud like a poem, with a great cadence. Reading it aloud to Ben, we paused on almost every page to talk about something, or wonder about something. Highly recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    Similar in concept to They All Saw A Cat, this book details how various animals perceive the stone--as loud or quiet, as a pebble or a hill, as dark or bright, etc. The illustrations, rendered in cut paper, oil pastels, marker, and other media, are beautiful and are a perfect accompaniment to the text.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Bond

    A gorgeous exploration of how the same thing (a stone) can be viewed in many, many different ways, depending on the observer. The art is lovely, as well. I always wonder about picture books like this, though--as an adult, I appreciate the beauty of the art and the lyricism of the text and the nuance of the message--but do kids in the target age group even care about things like that?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    2.75 stars. A decent picture book that explores perspective using a rock as the center of the story. The illustrations are lovely and the idea was interesting. I read it to my 7 year old, and he liked it, but I'm not sure if he "got" the theme Wenzel was attempting to explore. He normally loves to reread picture books over and over again, but this one he set aside after only one reading.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I don't really know what it means that it's a follow up to They All Saw a Cat. First of all, that book was much better. I don't think Wenzel used his full potential in this book. The animals look amazing, but the rest looks ordinary. I think the story is okay. A bit of climate change by the end, maybe? A very calm and quiet book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    The illustrations are what make it a stunning picture book but the words did not captivate or move me. I think that it could actually be a wordless picture book and have had more acclaim. Though I'm in the minority of those that are not enraptured with it. For those that love it, what precisely makes it 5-stars?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    A stone is many things to many different animals: small to the big animals, big to the small animals, and many other things besides. A beautifully illustrated book that makes you think about how different people can each view the same thing differently. Would be a great discussion starter for school age storytime. A beautiful book.

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