At the start of Jon Klassen’s new epic five act picture book there are four characters: a turtle, an armadillo, a snake and a large rock, which enters from above. The first three are looking at us sideways. The turtle and the armadillo wear a bowler hat, the snake wears a beret, and the rock is just a rock. The turtle is rather snappy, unfriendly, and reluctant to admit that he might have done something foolish or to accept help when he has. Consequently, he spends the second act of the book upside down. In the third act the armadillo and the turtle sit on the rock and imagine the future, into which enters another rather scary character on tall spindly legs from a different galaxy of the imagination. In the next act, the snake and the armadillo sit under the rock and admire the sunset. The turtle approaches wondering what they are doing, but by the time he makes his slow way to join them, to his disappointment, they are not doing it anymore, and he feels left out. In the last act, the turtle declares he will leave and may never come back. This is the cue for the return of the scary character from the future and the intervention of a second rock. As in Klassen’s other minimalist tales, space on the page, actors and dialogue are deployed with absurdist skill to create a story that, while apparently inconsequential, has humour, suspense and danger. Through the character of the turtle, the arrangement of the characters on the page and their movement across it, it touches knowingly on the perils of loneliness and the comfort of friendship; and on existential threats, perhaps like pandemics, that can come from anywhere and nowhere.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2021-05-18 16:04:272021-05-30 14:29:20The Rock from the Sky