The Book of Stone by Mark Greenwood

cover image

Illus. by Coral Tulloch. Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781760650872.
Recommended for a school library collection. Themes: Geology; Poetry. This book is a poem with reverence for the place of stone in our existence. That sentence almost seems strange as I write it, but Mark Greenwood has led us on a journey of reverie beginning with one stone, and layering it with possibilities as he unfolds and reveals the many ways that stone appears in our world and through time. The language is spare and yet crafted beautifully, almost like a weathered rock itself. The illustrations by Coral Tulloch are delightful - mostly detailed pencil sketches, with variations depending on the content. The endpapers include detailed illustrations of on array of different stones, rocks, fossils and gems. As Greenwood says, "Every stone has a story" and the combination of words and pictures in this The Book of Stone together tell the story of stone and illustrate it with finesse.
This is a great book that I could see being used by teachers in a poetry unit rather than as a reference book for those interested in geology. Particularly as it points out the way that stone is used in the course of the human story rather than to just describe a geological formation story. Classroom ideas are available from the publisher.
Carolyn Hull