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Sunday, May 4, 2014

FOSSIL, by Bill Thomson. two lions, Amazon Publishing. 2013. $19.99 ages 5 and up

"A boy.
A dog.
A hike.
Three fossils.

What happens when
the fossils come to life?"

I hope that this is the second Bill Thomson book you have recently seen! I posted Chalk some time ago, and now I'm happy to tell you about this prehistoric adventure.

A walk at the lakeshore offers a magical surprise for a young and curious boy. Picking up a rock for examination and then tripping on a piece of driftwood, the rock flies through the air and breaks open when it hits another rock nearby. He is stunned to discover a fossil fern, and more amazed when that fern takes flight. His dog unearths another; this time it houses a dragonfly which also springs to life and glides away. The next rock is cracked open to unleash a frightening pterodactyl. The boy runs, the dog protects. The dog becomes a captive on the dinosaur's back. The boy chases, and as he runs makes an interesting discovery. Using his new knowledge and some ingenuity, he returns his canine pal to safety. The danger has passed!

The art note explains:

"Bill Thomson embraced traditional painting techniques and meticulously painted each illustration by hand, using acrylic paint and colored pencils. His illustrations are not photographs or computer generated images."

I love those notes. In carefully 'reading' this book numerous times, my admiration continues to grow for the incomparable talent Mr. Thomson shows for detail. His sunny images evoke the joy felt by the boy and his companion on their lakeshore adventure. Light and shadow are used in both pleasing and alarming ways. Every view is a double page spread, interspersed with panels to denote action. It is these constantly changing perspectives that are awe-inspiring. Meticulous attention to detail is absolutely accurate; still, I found myself hardly believing that they were not photographs.

This is one amazing book. It is worth your full attention!


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