Title: A Rock Can Be
Written by: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated by: Violeta Dabija
Published by: Millbrook Press, 2015
Themes/Topics: rocks, nonfiction, poetry, rhyme
Suitable for ages: 5-8
A rock is a rock. It’s sand, pebble, stone. Each rock tells a story, a tale of its own.
Salas begins with a rock being… / tall mountain/ park fountain / dinosaur bone / stepping stone…” and goes on, for example, to include how it can be used to grind food for chucks (Food grinder), or stretch out into a curvy path (Path winder), or create a stone barrier around a harbor (Harbor protector), and link communities by bridges (Land connector).
The text is written in smooth articulate rhyme, abcb, and includes some very unusual facts about the role rocks play in our world.
Why I like This Book:
It is a skill that can take years to hone and is at the heart of great picture book writing – the use of sparse, simple lyrical language to expand an idea or concept with depth and beauty. Laura Purdie Salas achieves this in these three books with quiet panache, while also imparting some unusual nonfiction truths.
Violeta Dabija’s illustrations sing the same natural song as Salas’ text and are warm, innate and inspirational. They invite you to explore the beauty of your surroundings and discover the flow and force even in the inanimate.
I would definitely incorporate this on any science unit on rocks, and in a poetry class, of course.
- There is informational text in the back with a glossary and further reading.
- Salas is the author of over 125 poetry and nonfiction books for kids and I highly recommend checking out more of her work on her website. http://www.laurasalas.com
- Give a writing prompt for students combining research on a topic and then creating a visual poem about that topic.
- Check out this great interview and video with Laura Purdie Salas on the poetry blog No water River
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.