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The Day the Stones Walked

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Format: Hardcover

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This description may be from another edition of this product. Picos father isnt like the other fathers on Easter Island. Instead of building boats or hunting octopus, he sculpts the giant stone figures that he believes, in times of trouble, will rise and walk....

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Moving and Truthful Storytelling

In an essential Note at the end of the book T. A. Barron writes that when he visited the great carved faces of Easter Island he "had no idea that the stones themselves would tell me a story." And it is a profoundly moving story that young and old will ponder and return to. Young Pico is the child of one of the great carvers of Easter Island at the height of its former glory. Pico's father believes that the gigantic heads--the moai--can come to life and help people in time of trouble. Pico does not take this seriously until he is caught by a huge wave--larger than a mountain. Overwhelmed by the power of the ocean, Pico becomes aware of voices "deeper than the sea itself" while the wave displaces even the great carved stones. In this moment the boy discovers his spiritual connection to his people--and survives. But in many ways, his island is already declining, even without the "help" of the violent wave. The tsunami is a matter of archeological record, one still remembered by present-day spirit-singers of Easter Island. But there is more to the story than this--at one time, Easter Island was covered with subtropical forest that supported a much more complex culture than it does nowadays. The people used the forest for everything, and in time it was exhausted, along with the plants and animals that lived there. Without the forests, the Easter Islanders and their achievements dwindled as well. Barron rightly hopes that readers can learn from the experience of Easter Island. "Kids need to know the truth," he remarks. Indeed, this book makes the truth very compelling, although for me, the spiritual connection with the great carvings may be the most enduring impression. Of course, Barron's story was new to me, whereas I already was aware of the ecological disaster on Easter Island.
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