On the banks of a river amongst the dirt and the grass sat a stone. And it would always be a stone. Whether it be or day night, whether it be hot or cold, whether it be Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. The stone was always a stone. But for all of the creatures that visit it, it is something different and unique to each of them. For one it is loud, for another it is quiet. For one it is rough, for another it is smooth. For one it is a pebble, for another it is a hill. How can one stone be so many different things…
This book is brilliant. On the surface it is a simple story about a bunch of different animals visiting a stone on the bank of a river. As each animals visits the stone, they experience something different. The snail finds the stone to be rough, the snake finds the stone to be quiet, and so on. It is these different perceptions of the stone that make the book so brilliant. How can so many different thoughts, opinions and uses arise from one simple stone?
It is the perfect book for exploring perspectives and how perspectives about the same thing can be very, very different. It is great for discussing with children the idea that as people we often have different ideas about the same thing and that all opinions are equally valid. In the story, no animal has a better use for the stone, they all use it for the purpose that suits their needs. And perhaps very importantly, no arguments occur - not a single animal proclaims that their idea is better than anyone else’s. I cannot help but think we could all learn something from this book.
The artwork throughout the book is adorable and provides much entertainment. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot that the water level gradually rises throughout the book before the stone finally disappears underneath it. But does this mean that the stone is gone? Not at all, the stone has become a wave and a home for a snail. As is re-enforced throughout the book, the stone will always be a stone, no matter what.
Could be suitable for children of 4+, but I personally would use it with readers of 7+ to explore ideas of perspective and how we can all see the same thing in different ways.