Friday, February 13, 2009

The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life - Book Review

The Blue Stone A Journey Through Life
Author and Illustrator Jimmy Liao
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers; 1 edition (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316113832
ISBN-13: 978-0316113830

The Blue Stone: A Journey Through Life is an unusual story for ages 4 – 8. I find it more appropriate for ages 7 – 10. The Blue Stone’s illustrations are vibrant and clear. Many illustrations are full page spreads while some are displayed to show a sequence of scenes. Jimmy Liao’s artistic interpretations of his words meld together in a soothing voice.

A life long journey of change and renewal begin when the sapphire colored rock is taken from its natural habitat and separated from its other half. Don’t overlook the significance that this blue stone also represents a strong sense of family values. The blue stone’s objective is always to get back home.

Every transformation the blue stone experiences is special. It shows young children that no matter what size or color you are, you can become beautiful, helpful and important. The Blue Stone delivers a message that we all have something new inside us waiting to be created.

Additionally, The Blue Stone is enchanting and has a sense of spirituality and mysticism demonstrating in a simple way how circumstances in our lives are subject to change and can become positive experiences. In the beginning the stone is carved into an elephant statue delighting a town with happiness but eventually people leave and the stone elephant is all alone. The stone remembers home and its heart breaks a little. Next it becomes a garden bird for a lady but the lady abandons her garden. A new owner comes to create a stone fish for a seaside town. Each time something new is created from the blue stone, pieces break away and the stone becomes smaller and smaller.

Small pieces keep falling from the stone at each step of its life journey. At last it becomes a gift of first love between a boy and a girl. Since first love rarely lasts the stone’s heart breaks until it is nothing but grains of sand. Now it is light enough to float over the towns and oceans back to its home in the forest where it completes the circle of life resting in peace where it always belonged.

About the Author
Jimmy Liao was born in Taipei, Taiwan and received a degree in design from the Chinese Culture University. He is the author and illustrator of 18 hugely popular books that have been translated into English, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. His first book for Little, Brown, The Sound of Colors, was published March 2006.

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