A Single Pearl

A Single Pearl


By (author) Professor of Linguistics Donna Jo Napoli, By (author) Jim Jo Lamarche, Illustrated by Jim LaMarche, Illustrated by Professor of Linguistics Donna Jo Napoli

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  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Format: Hardback | 32 pages
  • Dimensions: 201mm x 295mm x 13mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 10 September 2013
  • ISBN 10: 1423145577
  • ISBN 13: 9781423145578
  • Sales rank: 478,430

Product description

In a vast ocean, a single grain of sand seems hopelessly small and unimportant. But over time, the sand begins to change. Layer by layer, it grows and transforms. Its beauty starts to shine. Exquisitely crafted by an award-winning author-illustrator team, this luminous, uplifting story reminds us of the amazing capacity for change within us all.

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Author information

Donna Jo Napoli teaches linguistics at Swarthmore College and is the author of numerous books for young readers of all ages, including "Alligator Bayou," an "ALA" Top Ten Book and winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award; "The King of Mulberry Street," a Sydney Taylor Award Honor book; and "Treasury of Greek Mythology," an ALA Notable book. She lives in Pennsylvania. Jim LaMarche has illustrated several acclaimed picture books, including Albert by Donna Jo Napoli, and Little Oh and The Rainbabies, both by Laura Krauss Melmed. He wrote and illustrated The Raft. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, where the ocean continually inspires his work.

Review quote

Inspired by a Persian poem, this resonant book from the creators of Albert follows a grain of sand's metamorphosis into a pearl. Napoli's lyrical narrative imbues the tiny grain with emotions. When it becomes lodged in an oyster, it "would have curled in despair, if sand could curl." And as the oyster coats it with shiny layers over the years, forming a shimmering pearl, the grain of sand "felt more and more alone and lost." The melancholy tone lightens considerably after a diver plucks the oyster from the ocean floor and sells the pearl to a prince; he gives it to his wife, who later passes it on to her daughter. The princess treasures the pearl, and the grain of sand finally feels it has reached "home." LaMarche's acrylic and colored pencil illustrations effectively dramatize a remarkable natural transformation and demonstrate a striking sense of light, whether in sunlight filtering down to the seabed or the moonlight under which the princess dances. Although chiefly a story about finding purpose, Napoli's writing gently informs, with subtle details about oysters, fishing, and the creation of pearls. Ages 3 7. PW"