The Rock from the Sky
The Rock from the Sky

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Annotation: Publisher Annotation: 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.
Catalog Number: #255489
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 96
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-536-21562-7 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8979-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-536-21562-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8979-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2021933905
Dimensions: 27 cm
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
The most gratifying feature of this new offering by Caldecott Medalist Klassen is that there-s so much of it-96 pages of dark, Beckett-caliber comedy. In the first episode of five, -The Rock,- a tortoise in a bowler hat stands under a broad dusky sky. -I like standing in this spot. It is my favorite spot to stand,- it declares; -I don-t ever want to stand anywhere else.- A page turn reveals a massive black rock high in the sky, a delicate trail of detritus above it signaling downward motion. Back on the ground, a sort of armadillo-mole sporting a bowler hat of its own appears. -What do you think of my spot?- the tortoise asks. -Actually I have a bad feeling about it,- the armadillo-mole replies, initiating a back-and-forth with escalating stakes. And the rock isn-t the only fate that looms. In each section, the tortoise, the armadillo-mole, and a snake in a beret consider everyday matters-naps, sunsets, the future-while facing inexorably advancing events. A resultant ratcheting tension permeates every moody spread and gives readers- laughter a nervous edge, while deliberately paced illustrations and deadpan conversation allow for a methodical exploration of each comic beat. In this pleasurable volume that-s just right for uncertain times, Klassen proves himself a top-notch student of the way that conscious beings seek to take charge of their own realities-efforts that nearly always fail and, in this world, are sometimes punctuated by falling rocks. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)

School Library Journal Starred Review
PreS-Gr 2 Klassen at his droll best, in five short chapters that are outstanding examples of pacing, less-is-more illustration, and comedic timing. Unaware of impending doom from above, Turtle enjoys standing in his favorite spot. His friend Armadillo thinks he has a better spot. Disaster is avoided, but the interplay of text and images as a giant rock falls from the sky will have readers and listeners howling with delight. The subsequent chapters capture other moments in the life of Turtle, Armadillo, Snake, and of courseAlien. Wacky, witty fun, this could be used to introduce a unit on humor, all done in classic Klassen digital and watercolor tones and shapes. Also outstanding for emerging readers with visual support for the minimal text. VERDICT Laugh-out-loud funny; children will be predicting, warning, and laughing their way through any reading and multiple rereadings of this tour de force from a master of the picture book form. John Scott, Friends Sch. of Baltimore
Starred Review for Kirkus 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)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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.
Word Count: 551
Reading Level: 1.5
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 510716 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: N

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

Look up! From the Caldecott Medal–winning creator of the hat trilogy comes a new deadpan gem.

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.

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