The Remembering Stone (Hardcover)

By Barbara Timberlake Russell, Claire B. Cotts (Illustrator)

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 9780374362423, 32pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2004



A surprising journey of self-discovery

In early fall, the blackbirds creak like rusty wheels behind our apartment . . . "One day I will return like you," my mother tells the birds. "But for now, you go. Que les vaya bien. Safe journey."

Ana doesn't understand the pull of this faraway place until one night she puts her favorite thing -- a stone spit from the volcanoes of Costa Rica - underneath her pillow. She imagines herself a blackbird flying to this country her mother longs to see again, with "mountains [that] stretch over steamy cedar and ebony forests, noisy with bright birds . . . [her] grandfather and uncles gathering cacao pods from the trees." And as Ana imagines what she would see, she develops her own emotional link to this place and people, who, while far away, are part of her.

This evocative picture book with its striking, bold art celebrates the importance of hope, dreams, and cultural roots -- and will have special resonance for all thos who find themselves at the crossroads of two cultures.

Praise For The Remembering Stone

"Beautiful, richly patterned illustrations show the diverse city neighborhood as well as the far-off places that mother and daughter dream in immigrant families will recognize the intimacy." -- Booklist

"Cotts's inventively stylized paintings balance subdued background colors with controlled, energetic use of bright patterns on figures and objects in the foreground. The effect stays true to both the story's often folk-like mood and to its contemporary urban setting, enhancing the text's movements between the everyday and the imagined." -- Publishers Weekly

"Lush, richly patterned pictures beautifully complement the tale, the soft earth tones imbuing each page with a warm golden hue...soulful." -- School Library Journal