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If You Find a Rock Paperback – September 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 70 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 930 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152063544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152063542
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Young on August 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book is a great way to begin a lesson on rocks and minerals! It's imaginative and beautifully written. My third grade class loved it! I will use it every year to begin our inquiry-based science unit on rocks and minerals! The creative way to classify rocks was a very nice way to begin the topic of rocks and minerals with the students! We even started our own collection, using Christian's unique way of classifying them!
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What a marvelous book. It grabs and hold your interest and the interest of my 1, 3, and 6 year old. We borrowed this from the library and today I am purchasing it online. This well written book shows the joy of rocks. Most of us have at one time or another have kicked a rock in front of us. Now you can learn why! Many of us have sat on a rock and now we see why it was such a perfect place to sit. Introduce your children to the wonders of the world around them with this exceptional book. Now I am on a mission to find any other books by this author. This is not a rock identification book, but rather a book that teaches observation and appreciation of rocks.
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Format: Hardcover
Since I was a little boy, long, long ago, I have had a fascination for rocks. As I grew older I cannot count the hours I have spent in creek beds, hill sides, fields and on dirt roads, first with my children, then with my four grandsons, looking for, talking about, wondering about and simply "seeing" rocks. This wonderful small volume says it all and captures the beauty of rocks and the beauty of children as they explore and expierence them. The lyrical prose/verse that tell the story of rocks is a pure joy to read. The photographs of children and rocks will touch anyone who who enjoys the company of small children and of rocks. Barbara Hirsch Lember has done a wonderful, artistic job with her camera and technique and Peggy Christian has given us some very impressive text. This is simply a well done and beautiful book and I am quite sure that you and your child or grandchild will get as much pure joy from it as I have. I do highly recommend you add this one to your library. I like another reviewer, first check this one out at the library but then went ahead and purchased my own copy. Read it and enjoy!
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By M.A.S. on February 27, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A delightful read that has captured our seven year old's imagination and has him looking at the world around him with new eyes. He now scours the landscape for worry, rocks, skipping rocks, wishing rocks, memory rocks, and so forth. It has given him a whole new way to classify his growing collection, as well as a favorite bedtime read. I highly recommend this enchanting short book - I know it will be one my child remembers for life, whenever his thoughts turn to rocks.
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Format: Paperback
What do you remember collecting as a kid? My grandpa collects rocks and passed this interest onto his kids and grandkids. I loved bringing home neat rocks that I found. I thought of him as I read this book.

If You Find A Rock is simply magical. It has great descriptions of rocks and the things that you can do with them. One of my favorite pages was, "Or you might find a big mossy rock by the side of a long, steep trail. Then you have a resting rock, and as you sit down you feel the cool moss squush beneath you." - because it reminded me of the Pacific Northwest (where I live). The photos are hand-tinted pictures and are a perfect match for the text. There's a sense of peace and calmness as I read this book. All readers (and listeners) will appreciate the beauty and wonder of Nature.

If You Find A Rock celebrates the simple pleasures. Written in the second person, the repetition of "you" involves the reader and can also open up discussion between adults and children. By slowing down to really notice your surroundings, you may be lucky enough to find: skipping rocks, sifting rocks, wish rocks and anything rocks. It's easy to see why this book has won numerous awards such as: The John Burroughs List of Nature Books For Young Readers, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner, and a Parent's Guide Children's Media Award Winner. A wonderful book any time of the day, I think this will be a treasured and often requested book in any child's library.

Armchair Interviews says: Share this wonderful book with your favorite collector or nature lover.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably a nice poetry book, but I didn't want a poetry book. It was with the geology things and I thought it was a book of information on how to identify a rock when you find an interesting one. This one doesn't do that!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brings back good memories of my childhood (and a few adult ones) of finding rocks. Beautiful photos. I love reading this to my kids. I plan on using this book as a launching pad to encourage my kids to go out and find their own special rocks.
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I like to collect special rocks when I walk at the beach. My grand daughters love to "inspect" my rocks. Therefore, I wanted to enrich their interest too. I think it is a lovely description of different rocks plus the photographs are very complimentary. Unfortunately, the corners of the book were bent when received.
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