Jon Klassen, The Rock from the Sky, Walker Books, April 2021, 96 pp., RRP $27.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781406395570
Quintessential contemporary storyteller and master of the ‘slow reveal’, Klassen gives readers a true gem of his deadpan wit in this long-form visual ‘play’. The five ‘acts’, will have readers young and old alike chuckling as they predict what might happen next for turtle, armadillo, snake… and alien.
Reminiscent of Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Klassen explores pride, fear of missing out, imagination and existential philosophy in the conversations between friends as they watch the sun go down. Warm and dark colours against dramatic skies set spacious cinematic scenes that drive the narrative. The characters say so very much with their expressive eyes and body language. Composition is everything. Words are few and clearly spaced with subtle colour changes denoting different speakers and intonation.
A story asking for theatre/screen adaption in frames that build tension and humour from beginning to end, this book is pure delight.
Reviewed by Liz Anelli