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rock science


  • Iowa Goldfinch Award finalist 2021-2022
  • Alabama Camellia Award finalist 2021-2022

Illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, Feb 20, 2018
ISBN: 9780399173882

FREE Download A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK Discussion and Activity Guide

A plucky pebble shows true grit as he travels the country trying to find out if he fits in with any of his famous rock-formation relatives.

Rocky comes from a long line of rock stars! Uncle Gibraltar, Aunt Etna, and Great-Grandma Half Dome are just some of the legendary rock formations he calls family. It’s no wonder he wants to matter in a big way too–but it’s not easy trying to get a foothold. Rocky gets tossed by The Wave and driven away at Devil’s Tower–but he’s determined not to allow these pitfalls to chip away at his confidence. Rather than feeling crushed, he keeps on rolling, hoping to become the rock-star he knows he’s meant to be.

Read the complete Kirkus review here
“Young readers will root for this less-than-pint–sized hero while he makes the most of his own personal talents…
Replete with wry, comic references and infused with a sense of adventure, this is a lighthearted tale that readers will certainly not “take for granite.” (Picture book. 4-8)”

Read the complete Publishers Weekly review here
“…Shaffer (Prudence the Part-Time Cow) comes up with lots of ways a rock can travel and uses every geological pun she can think of (“It was clear the two of them didn’t share the same sediment”). Rock hounds and teachers doing earth science units are a natural audience. Ages 5–8”

Let’s Talk Picture Books review here

Read. Learn. Repeat. review here

More reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal!

“Miyares’ vivid illustrations, painted in watercolor and acrylics, give this story momentum—paneled sequences depict stages of Rocky’s journey—and reflect the grandeur of many of America’s geologic marvels. An afterword on rock types and formations creates a natural segue for discussions on geology or geography, while the encouraging message of dreaming big grounds the playful story.”—Booklist

“Word play is peppered throughout the text. . . . The illustrations . . . depict amusing scenes of Rocky’s perilous journey and some impressive spreads of the majestic rock formations. This title may be a jumping-off point for a group discussion of perseverance in the face of obstacles as well as an introduction to famous rock formations.”—School Library Journal

Interview on Writers’ Rumpus here!

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