Lights on Wonder Rock
Lights on Wonder Rock

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Annotation: E.T. meets The Giving Tree in this stunningly illustrated picture book about friendship, family, wonder, and magic that shows how, sometimes, the things we're searching for have been right in front of us all along. From the award-winning creator of The Bear and the Piano.
Catalog Number: #213140
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-358-35953-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97459-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-358-35953-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97459-3
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
An alien encounter keeps a woman hoping to recapture a magical moment all her life.One night Heather sneaks off into the woods with a flashlight, sitting on Wonder Rock and “hoping that someone out there would see her light.” When something arrives, it comes in an explosion of bright colors, flashing lights, and glowing particles. From a flying saucer emerges a friendly creature who looks like a giant spoon. Heather draws a picture for it before she retreats to her family. For the rest of her life, Heather returns to Wonder Rock, hoping for a reunion but growing disenchanted. It’s not until she is “an old lady” who has “nearly lost all hope, as people do,” that the ship returns to, predictably, teach her that the family she has raised is the magic she was always seeking. Litchfield’s slightly mournful story is punctuated by moments of thrilling escape, none more lovely than a single page of Heather’s “off / and on” flashlight vigil, laid out as nine panels that go from giddy anticipation to disappointment to sudden fear, a technique deployed again when Heather is old. But the text does not rise to the level of enchanting artwork, falling flat with tired clichés and concluding with a thud. As with the crayon pictures that Heather uses to communicate with the ET, some ideas don’t need words. Heather presents White; her family is interracial.These close encounters are better seen than read. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2 A fantastical, partially wordless story tells of a girl and her fascination with all things extraterrestrial. Heather sits patiently on Wonder Rock with a flashlight until a UFO finally lands and she encounters a friendly alien.Though she wants to go with it to explore the unknown, she returns home, knowing her parents will miss her. From that day on she longs for the alien's return, and comes back to Wonder Rock to wait. As an elderly woman, her outer space friend returns. Yet again, she nearly ventures into space, but her loving children and grandchildren beckon her back. Litchfield talks directly to readers, repeating, "Time passed, as time does," along with wordless panels that effectively demonstrate the passage of a lifetime. Wordless pages also illustrate the interactions with the alien. The pictures are mesmerizing, with rich, dark forests, streaming magical moonlight, and a round silver UFO that flashes with pink and purple light. The opening spread shows a silhouette of red-headed Heather walking from a cabin in the spotlight of a moon hung low in a deep blue sky. And while there is a clear sense of longing throughout Heather's life, she is not consumed by it, nor is there trepidation or fear of the blue alien. VERDICT When Heather rejoices as her family finally meets her Wonder Rock friend, readers will be right there with her. A wondrous tale, this is recommended for picture book collections. Clara Hendricks, Cambridge P.L., MA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* More than anything else in the world, little Heather wants an alien to come take her away so she can live among the stars, so she sits on Wonder Rock, flashing the beam of her flashlight on and off into the night sky. One night, she gets her wish, but her parents miss her, so she returns to Earth, and time passes, as time does. As she grows up and has children and grandchildren of her own, Heather returns to the rock over and over, calling out for her alien friend with everything from radio waves to electricity signals, but the spaceship never returns. Until, one night, Wonder Rock has just one more wonder in store. This book takes the reader on the emotional journey of an entire feature-length film in just a few perfect pages. It is an utterly unique reading experience, with unhurried wordless spreads giving way to multipanel sequences, with a handful of elegant sentences scattered throughout like stars. The aurora-like color scheme is jaw-dropping, drenching every frame in luxurious hues, and the depiction of light and shadow om moonlight and flashlight beams to a setting sun or sparkling spaceship nothing short of expert. This book displays some of the best visual storytelling on (quite literally) the planet.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (7/1/20)
School Library Journal Starred Review (8/1/20)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2

E.T. meets The Giving Tree in this stunningly illustrated picture book about friendship, family, wonder, and magic that shows how, sometimes, the things we're searching for have been right in front of us all along. From the award-winning creator of The Bear and the Piano. Heather wants more than anything to go to outer space, where the stars sparkle with magic and wonder. When a UFO lands behind her house and she meets a friendly alien, it seems that all of her dreams have come true. But soon her new friend has to return home. Will the spaceship ever come back for her? And if it does, is Heather ready to leave everything on Earth behind? In this tale about dreaming big while appreciating what you have, best-selling picture book creator David Litchfield's innovative visual storytelling uses wordless, light-filled spreads and graphic novel style layouts to transport readers through space and time and celebrate the power of family and human connection.


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