ONE MILLION OYSTERS ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN | Kirkus Reviews



The first pages traverse a landscape of meadows, farms, forests, hills, and a rocky mountain, then focus on a pair of hikers, one taller, with pale skin and straight, black hair, and the other shorter, with brown skin and a knit cap, at the top. Nogués’ gently humorous storytelling voice encourages observers to think about fossils in seemingly ordinary gravel, soil, and strata. The large trim size gives space for Lora’s edge-to-edge painting of rocks, flora, and fauna in greens, grays, and browns. Interspersed pages catalog geologic eras, marine creatures whose fossils can be found in mountain strata, and a look at the slow collision of land masses to form mountains. The conversational narrative, translated from the Spanish, has a simplicity and gentle pacing that build to demonstrate how ideas and discoveries in geology—including the presence of oyster fossils on high ground, the layering of the fossil record, and plate tectonics—fit together to explain the results of eons of geologic time. The sense that the history of the world can be seen in the present is nicely conveyed by the illustrations: A dinosaur appears in a mountain lake, tall ferns sprout from the meadow, the hikers dive under the sea. A glossary interprets seven terms used in geology.



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