Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Wretched Stone
Author & Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Publication Year: 1991
Location: Personal library
Awards: Starred reviews Horn Book & Kirkus
Summary: Written in the form of captain's log, this story documents the effects of a mysterious glowing rock have on the crew of a ship. The whole crew turns into apes and gather around the strange rock. The ship is destroyed in a storm, and the captain discovers positive effects of reading and music on the crew. The men are rescued and after they are separated from the stone, they return t normal (mostly). As usual, Van Allsburg's drawings are lush and detailed and add to the fantasy.
Classroom Ideas: This is an introduction to the idea of a journal/ ship's log. The mood of the story is mysterious. The book could used to talk about mood, as it moves from a very serious to a mysterious tone. For older children, the metaphor of the glowing rock as a TV and the cure being music and reading could be introduced and discussed.