'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 24 May 2018

Review: A Stone for Sascha

Aaron Becker is the younger reader's Shaun Tan.

Becker combines a touch of Fantasia with images of lyrical beauty as he depicts raw grief and the pain of having to get on with life.

Without a single word, he narrates several epic journeys, weaving each within and between the others.

He starts with the loss of a beloved pet, Sascha, and moves quickly to a family holiday by the beach.

There, from the sand between a young girl's toes he catapults us to outer space,where we witness the birth of our planet and life in its earliest forms. From here, we explore early civilisation and venture on to adventures on the high seas.

Each each double-page opening, worthy of art gallery space, filled both my heart and my imagination to the brim. Yet, while I dreamed and sighed over vast worlds, my personal grief over losing a beloved pet was gently cradled.

A Stone for Sascha requires time and space: time to pour over every detail on every page, time to notice what was missed in the last viewing, and space for the gentlest of healing found within these pages to germinate and spread.

And yet, for all this depth, A Stone for Sascha allows each reader to create their own story about what each illustration represents and about how grief, Sascha's Stone, the history of the universe and pirates fit together.

Like I said: a younger reader's Shaun Tan: absolutely priceless.

Title: A Stone for Sascha
Author/Illustrator: Aaron Becker
Publisher: Walker Books, $27.99
Publication Date: 1 May 2018
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9780763665968
For ages: 5 +
Type: Picture Book