- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
- Lexile Measure: 440L (What's this?)
- Series: Avenues
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Greenwillow Books; 1st edition (May 8, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060294035
- ISBN-13: 978-0060294038
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rocks in His Head (Avenues) Hardcover – May 8, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
With great affection and an appealing nostalgia, Hurst (Through the Lock, reviewed below) recounts the story of her father, an avid rock collector from the time he was a boy. When people commented that "he had rocks in his pockets and rocks in his head," he would answer with an agreeable "Maybe I have," then reach into his pocket and eagerly add, "Take a look at this one." This response, conveying both the hero's humility and passion, becomes a recurring refrain. Stevenson conveys the fellow's easygoing manner with elegant pen-and-ink wash illustrations. Together, author and artist chart the boy's growth into manhood and touch on the world events that shape him. As a young man, he opens a filling station, where he displays his labeled rocks and minerals and learns how to repair the then-new Model T. After the Depression shuts down his business, he moves his cherished collection into the attic of his home, finding odd jobs wherever he can. The story's conclusion will prove as satisfying to readers as it was to Hurst's father: the director of the local museum offers him a dream job the position of curator of mineralogy. Dominated by earth tones, Stevenson's artwork convincingly evokes both the personality of this endearing protagonist and the period in which he lived. An emphatic endorsement for youngsters to follow their passions. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-Hurst tells the story of her father's passion for rock collecting in this gently humorous picture book. "People said he had rocks in his pockets and rocks in his head. He didn't mind. It was usually true." As a boy, he collected rocks. When he grew up, his carefully labeled rock collection occupied a place of honor on the back wall of his filling station. However, once the Depression hit and the filling station closed, he had to look for work. When there was none to be found, he would go to the science museum, where he eventually attracted the attention of the director. A stint as the nighttime janitor, combined with his unquenchable love for rocks, eventually led to his being named Curator of Mineralogy, despite his lack of a college degree. The narrative has the polish of a family story often told, and the author paints a touching picture of a man who quietly pursues his passion, no matter what others think. Stevenson's watercolor-and-ink illustrations, with their trademark sketchy style, capture the mild-mannered hero perfectly. Rendered in a palette of soft sepia tones, these warm pictures call to mind an earlier era. Pair this book with Lynne Barasch's Radio Rescue (Farrar, 2000), a similar biographical tale set in days gone by.
Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.