A Stone Sat Still

A stone can seem an unlikely topic for a picturebook – no sentient being, the stone, ‘is there, and sat still.’ Yet, it holds meaning for the many creatures which come across it: as seasons move on, bugs, furry mammals and many species, big and small, find significance in this simple stone, as a home, a maze, a hiding spot, etc…

Brendan Wenzel’s picturebook is a beautiful depiction of the flora and fauna which surround us and a reminder to look at nature from different angles. With simple words, Wenzel cleverly explores the five senses and touches on thoughtful themes such as feelings of belonging and permanency in the face of change. Who knew that such a simple thing as a stone could foster such a touching narrative?

Wenzel’s illustrations use a mix of techniques, with spreads mostly in soft pastel shades. Between collages and soft paint brushes, the author’s style gives dimension to the pages, and make animals come alive: the otters leap out of the lake, the spikes of a hedgehog wildly surround the stone and a giant moose puts a dainty hoof on a now tiny-looking pebble. Animals are depicted with a great deal of personality and life, which ties back to the notion of our ecosystem’s diversity. A Stone Sat Still is very warmly recommended (followed by a walk in the great wide open?) to any young reader 5-7.