If You Find a Rock
 
 


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If You Find a Rock [Paperback]

Peggy Christian , Barbara Hirsch Lember
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hand-tinted black-and-white photographs lend a timeless quality to this contemplative picture book. No feldspar or quartz is categorized hereDrather, Christian (The Bookstore Mouse) muses on a variety of rocks that children typically encounter, such as flat "skipping" rocks ("you toss it out in the water just so and see it trip across the surface, making a chain of spreading rings") to a "wishing rock ("with a stripe running all the way round it... it must circle all the way. You whisper what you want before you throw it"). Christian imbues her words with a childlike sense of wonder that lifts the everyday to the extraordinary, a transformation intensified by superb book production. Hewing to an earth-toned palette, Lember's (A Book of Fruit) photos are spare and uncluttered, alternating between tightly focused shots (small hands holding various stones, for instance) with broader pastoral vistas, such as a boy leaping from rock to rock across a creek. A slight soft-focus effect helps suspend the subjects in timeDdespite the backpacks and sneakers, these children could be from any era. The book's design is exemplary as well; the words are matted against broad swaths of white space, while the glossy sheen of the photographs stands out vividly. A work of art in every regard. Ages 6-9. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Since the dawn of time, humans have found rocks, stones, and pebbles to be subtly alluring. In a poignant, lyrical text, Christian contemplates the magnetism of an assortment of such serendipitous discoveries. From drawing ephemeral runes on the sidewalk with a "chalk rock" to the satisfying slither of a handful of "sifting rocks" and the exaltation of a "climbing rock," these common but beguiling objects are wondered about ("-you might find a rock with a stripe running all the way round it-You have a wishing rock, and you whisper what you want before you throw it"). Each two-page spread includes at least one of Lember's softly hand-tinted photos that eloquently reflect the evocative text. Insert this gem into an earth-science unit and watch as certain students drift from igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, and the Mohs' scale to look at their specimens with wide, remembering eyes.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Poetic text and thoughtfully composed, hand^-tinted photographs combine to explore the variety and purposes of rocks. There are stones for skipping across ponds, hiding tiny creatures, and crossing swift rivers. Some are large enough for climbing, and small rounded pebbles slide slowly through our fingers. Still others soothe us when we worry or grant us wishes. The best ones, however, are those that remind us of a person, a place, or a feeling. Lember's intriguing artwork is especially suited to the quiet text. From a distance, the pictures seem to be color photographs, but on closer inspection, they resemble realistic paintings. No matter the medium, the results are pleasing. A good story hour selection, especially for introducing primary geology units or setting the mood for creative writing. Kay Weisman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

[set star] “A work of art in every regard.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Poignant, lyrical . . . [A] gem.”—School Library Journal
“Elegant.”—The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

PEGGY CHRISTIAN has been a reading specialist, a bookstore manager, and a teacher of language arts and writing. She lives in Missoula, Montana.
BARBARA HIRSCH LEMBER's books for children include two nonfiction titles, A Book of Fruit and The Shell Book. She lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
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