by Sting, Illustrations by Hugh Whyte
Rock Steady: A Story of Noah's Ark
HarperCollins, March, 2001.
Picture Book, 32 pages.
Rock Steady was originally a song written by the world-renowned rock star Sting in 1987. In this new publication, Sting has adapted the original lyrics, which retell the beloved biblical story of Noah's ark, and combined them with the strong simple and colorful images of Hugh Whyte. This team has produced a strong story with a powerful message, set in an imaginative new format. The purpose of the book, of course, is to present a strong lesson about stewardship and people's role as God's helpers in preserving our beautiful and steady "rock."
All children respond to the many levels of poetry, and it is safe to say that any child would respond to the strong rock beat of Rock Steady. Children will enjoy reading the book along with a favorite adult, while tapping out the beat with a foot or a nod of the head. Although some parents might be mildly taken aback by the ungrammatical poetic license of the author in such phrases as "We didn't need no country. Just a rock would do," they really shouldn't worry that they are teaching incorrect grammar. After all, poets are allowed to tweak the language in order to produce a rhyme or a beat, and children recognize that rules of communication can sometimes be bent a little.
The geometrical illustrations of Hugh Whyte are a particular delight. Strong primary colors combined with simple shapes make for a cheerful and upbeat message. In most of the illustrations the figures are large, as well as simple. They will make a strong impression on a young child.
The proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the Rainforest Foundation. The Rainforest Foundation, founded by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler in 1989, has raised millions of dollars to protect the Brazilian rainforest and its denizens, both human and animal. Rock Steady is an upbeat and happy book that will support a very worthy cause.
--Sarah Reaves White
Rock Steady: A Story of Noah's Ark is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the July, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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