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Everybody Needs a Rock: 07/07/08
My son takes after my grandmother. She loved to collect rocks of all shapes and sizes. She had them in her yard and in her house. Her kitchen window sill was covered in little jars full of the smallest rocks she had found over the years. Now my kitchen window sill if filling up with peanut butter jars of Sean's growing rock collection.
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor and illustrated by Peter Parnall captures perfectly their love of rocks. The little girl in the book (shown on the cover) outlines a series of rules for finding the perfect rock. Rule #4, for example, is "Don't get a rock that is too big. It won't fit in your hand right and it won't fit in your pocket." My grandmother wasn't one to follow rule number 4 as the boulders in her front yard attested to. Sean though, does so far live by rule #4 and I have learned to always check his pockets before doing the laundry.
Every rule is beautifully illustrated by Peter Parnall's line drawings. They are colored with a limited range of earth tones. Mostly though, they are black and white. The girl, always blending into the rocks. Be the rock, she seems to be saying.
How beautiful. I have seen the artist in another book I read as a child, but I cannot remember what it was. I have a new roommate who had a fabulous rock collection, all displayed in glass cases. He showed many to me the other day. It was so interesting. "
I'd like to read more books that the artist has illustrated. He has such a distinct style."
Comment #3: Tuesday, August, 26, 2008 at 09:34:06
I love your review as much as the book. My daughter was a rock hound too. It started when she was about 3 she had a little shopping cart that she pushed around and when she found rocks, in they would go. When she got home after a trip around the block she would line her rocks up on the back porch putting them in her own special order, neat little lines that looked random to me, but she was very careful about how they lined up. Today she is 17 and has given up rock hunting, but it lasted about 4 years when she was younger. I think I will get her the book..just as an inside joke and for a touch of nastalgia. Thank you for the review.
Comment #4: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 21:34:00
Thank you for your lovely comment. Since I wrote the review my son has started his third jar of rocks. He is also slowly working his way through a geology book. I suppose in the future I'll have to review the book once he's done with it and I have a chance to read it.