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Children's Fiction Humorous Stories

The Rock from the Sky (Canadian Edition)

illustrated by Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Humorous Stories, General, Space Exploration
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The instant #1 New York Times bestseller!
Look up! From the Caldecott Medal–winning creator of the hat trilogy comes a new deadpan gem.

There is a spot.
It is a good spot.
It is the perfect spot to stand.
There is no reason to ever leave.
But somewhere above there is also a rock.
A rock from the sky.

Here comes The Rock from the Sky, a hilarious meditation on the workings of friendship, fate, shared futuristic visions, and that funny feeling you get that there’s something off somewhere, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Merging broad visual suspense with wry wit, celebrated picture book creator Jon Klassen gives us a wholly original comedy for the ages.

About the author

JON KLASSEN est le créateur de Rendez-moi mon chapeau!, classé numéro un au palmarès du New York Times et qui lui a valu le Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, ainsi que des livres complémentaires Ce n’est pas mon chapeau, pour lequel il a reçu la médaille Caldecott et la médaille Kate Greenaway, et Nous avons trouvé un chapeau, nommé meilleur livre pour enfants de l’année par le Publishers Weekly. Il a aussi écrit et illustré Le rocher tombé du ciel et illustré Les trois boucs et le troll, Triangle, Carré et Cercle, Le loup, le canard et la souris et Max et Sam creusent, creusent, creusent… tous écrits par Mac Barnett. Originaire de Niagara Falls, Jon Klassen vit maintenant à Los Angeles.



Jon Klassen is an animator and Governor General's Award-winning creator of children's books. His book This Is Not My Hat won both the American Caldecott Medal and the British Kate Greenway Medal, making Jon the first person to win both awards for the same work. Jon was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Jon Klassen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A meditation on friendship, fate, finding your comfort zone, and trusting your gut.
—Quill & Quire

[The Rock from the Sky]. . . offers even more fodder for lively discussion than its predecessors. . . A kind of playful nihilism lurks beneath the entertaining absurdity.
—Quill & Quire

But it’s the themes of death, uncertainty, and fate throughout Klassen’s body of work—as well as the spectrum of complicated emotions including jealousy, revenge, and judgment—that set him apart as a children’s writer and illustrator.
—The Walrus

The spirit of P.D. Eastman presides over Klassen’s newest, involving the fluctuating dynamics between a trio of behatted characters: a turtle, snake and a kind of racoon-possum hybrid. In three vignettes played out against a largely blank landscape, the companions must process the sudden appearance of the titular rock and, more ominously, a one-eyed, plant-obliterating alien.
—The Globe and Mail

A savant of deadpan storytelling, Klassen offers a long-form picture book that is high in suspense and humor. Using the wonderful technique of color-­coding the sparse and cheeky dialogue so readers know instinctively who is speaking, this book feels every bit as theatrical as the Hat trilogy. Klassen’s recognizable art style, featuring muted hues and speckled watercolors, utilizes sparse landscapes and open skies to keep the reader’s full attention on the story’s quirky characters, while carefully placed, wordless spreads heighten both tension and humor or bring resolution. His ability to create so much dark humor with so few words and to infuse his critters with such a depth of personality is part of why Klassen’s work is so beloved, as this new addition promises to be.
—Booklist (starred review)

In this collection of five connected short stories, clocking in at over ninety pages and composed solely of dialogue, Klassen introduces readers to a turtle, an armadillo, and a snake—all in hats, of course. . .Throughout, Klassen’s characteristically deadpan humor refuses to patronize readers; he lets them in on the joke, as always, putting them one step ahead of the protagonists. Smart, funny, and offbeat, this is quintessential Klassen.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

The most gratifying feature of this new offering by Caldecott Medalist Klassen is that there’s so much of it—96 pages of dark, Beckett-caliber comedy. . .In this pleasurable volume that’s just right for uncertain times, Klassen proves himself a top-notch student of the way that conscious beings seek to take charge of their own realities—efforts that nearly always fail and, in this world, are sometimes punctuated by falling rocks.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

If Samuel Beckett had written an early reader, it might look something like this one. . . Klassen’s animals react to their seemingly absurd—but never tragic—universe with characteristically subtle, humorous postures and eye maneuvers. The weirdness of it all exerts its own attractive force, drawing readers back to it to wonder and ponder. . . Waiting for Godot imagined for the playground population’s sensibilities.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Klassen at his droll best, in five short chapters that are outstanding examples of pacing, less-is-more illustration, and comedic timing. . . Wacky, witty fun, this could be used to introduce a unit on humor, all done in classic Klassen digital and watercolor tones and shapes. . . Laugh-out-loud funny; children will be predicting, warning, and laughing their way through any reading and multiple rereadings of this tour de force from a master of the picture book form.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

The art is fascinatingly cinematic in a flip-book kind of way, using the static nature of the simple scenes and repeated compositions to set off the drama of small gestures, changes of position, and eye shifts; of course, this being Klassen, all three animals sport natty headgear, ranging from bijou bowlers to a lovely little beret for the snake. The sly humor and touch of sci-fi will make this a winner for reluctant later-stage readers as well as beginning readers developing their stamina, and it’ll be a great conspiratorial co-read with adults or sibs.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

With its muted, desolate landscapes, 'The Rock From the Sky' is hilariously dark, especially about social relations. . . . Though this delicately deadpan book evokes children’s tales of love and companionship, its message isn’t remotely warm or fuzzy. That’s beautiful. If Samuel Beckett had written a kids’ book, this might be it.
—The New York Times Book Review

Mr. Klassen’s deadpan humor—in picture books such as ‘I Want My Hat Back’ (2011) and ‘We Found a Hat’ (2016)—has an existential bleakness that elementary-school-age kids for some reason find incredibly funny. For this audience, Mr. Klassen has outdone himself with ‘The Rock from the Sky’. . . Mr. Klassen’s storytelling seems simple, but it’s not: There’s all kinds of metaphysical mischief happening here. So much so that, after reading ‘The Rock from the Sky,’ even adults may be tempted to start looking around them in that shifty, Jon Klassen-ian way.
—The Wall Street Journal

Other titles by Jon Klassen