A Book for Budding Geologists: If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian

Please enjoy the following post by contributor Emily Carter of The Pilot”s Wife, which originally appeared in May of 2010. Do you have a budding geologist in your family?

In my neck of the woods, Spring has sprung and it seems summer will be right at its heels.  While there is certainly a multitude of winter outdoor activities, warmer temperatures are more likely to tempt me into natural places.

In light of that, I wanted to introduce you to a book that will hopefully inspire a trip into nature for your family as well.

The book I”m going to share with you today I discovered last fall at a science workshop for teachers that I attended.  Our presenter loved tying in fabulous literature with her hands-on science lessons, so we hit it off quite well.

One of my favorites was If You Find a Rock written by Peggy Christian with photos by Barbara Hirsch Lember.

Photo by Yahoo

Peaceful and Poetic

This book is just so lovely in so many ways.  Even the cover is so peaceful, don”t you think? With poetic prose, Peggy Christian invites us to find and classify rocks in a beautiful way.

From the first page:

If you find a rock,

a nice flat, rounded rock

that sits just right

in the corner of your finger,

then you have

a skipping rock.

You toss it out

in the water just so

and see it trip

across the surface,

making a chain

of spreading rings.

With text like this coupled with gorgeous hand-tinted black and white photographs, I believe any child would be enchanted.

My educator-brain runs through the possibilities for this gem of a book: an introduction to geology, a look at nature photography, different forms of poetry, a beautifully calming bedtime story. The list could go on.

Appeal for All Ages

I also love the diversity of readers this book would be appropriate for. My toddler is enamored with rocks right now and tries to pick them up everywhere, so I know he would enjoy looking at the photos.  The author”s way of classifying is simple enough for younger students to be introduced to the idea of sorting items according to a system.

Older students could compare and contrast the different types of rocks with their scientific classifications, or even create their own books classifying other types of objects in different ways.

I know you won”t be disappointed in If You Find a Rock. If you have a rock lover in your home, I highly encourage you to find this book soon.

What”s inspiring you to get outside these days?

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  1. I’m glad to hear a good review of this book. I’ve been looking for it (I’m a bit of a rock hound and as it turns out so is my son), but it is hard to find in Australia. Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor is also supposed to be a good one.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..floating and sinking =-.

  2. We just happen to have a couple of “rock hounds” in our house who I know will appreciate this – thanks, Emily 🙂 We like to find rocks that are shaped (hearts are pretty popular w/ my littles and with me, too).

    After a string of rainy days, I’m looking forward to getting outside and soaking up some sunshine this weekend!
    .-= Kara Fleck´s last blog ..Parenting Preschoolers: A Starting Place for Social Graces =-.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m always looking for ways to encourage my daughters to get outside. Since they love to “explore,” I’m certain that they’d find this book enjoyable!
    .-= Tracey´s last blog ..Grocery Saving – Disney Spending =-.

  4. I do love that book, Emily. What great exposure to real literature for children.
    .-= Amanda Morgan´s last blog ..Eric Carle Author Study: Building Your Own Very Hungry Caterpillar =-.

  5. Rocks are incredibly cool and I love this topic. Believe it or not I work in a wholesale stone supply yard and rocks are full of educational topics. Kids can get fascinated by them and they love to touch them! If you have any type of pond or water garden you can also talk about what types of stones work well in fish ponds and which ones can actually be damaging to the fish themselves.
    .-= Tina@RideonToys´s last blog ..Step2 Recalls 2.5 Million Ride on Toys for a Design Flaw =-.

  6. This sounds like a great book. My daughter loves to collect rocks. We have them all over the house. I can’t wait to find this at the library.
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Does your routine fly out the window… =-.

  7. Marcy Bates says:

    I want to second the recommendation for Everybody Needs a Rock. I have used the two books together to introduce preschoolers and early elementary kids to rock collecting a geology many times.

  8. Thanks for the suggestion! This looks great–I added it to my Amazon wishlist. My daughters love rocks.
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog ..The Kindness of Bloggers =-.

  9. Ooo I’ve never heard of this book. It sounds delightful! I still have some rock treasures that I picked up as a kid sitting on my desk.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Earth Fair 2010 Photos | The Exploratorium – When a Cup is Not a Cup =-.

  10. This is a great book! My kids both love it

  11. Oh we love this book! My son’s kindergarten class read it, and with the large number of rocks we pick up it was really neat to connect it with reading!

  12. Heather K. M. says:

    My boys love this book. We just read it this morning along with everybody needs a rock. Great books!

  13. I just ordered this, thanks for the recommendation! It should get here just in time for our trip to some Botanical Gardens. My 2 year old daughter loves finding rocks, hopefully this will be a new favorite book!

  14. Thank you for recommending this! As someone else commented above, I wish there were more engaging and enjoyable science books like this. I will have to see where I can get my hands on a copy of this. 🙂
    Liz @ The HomeStyle´s latest post: {Homeschool} Excavating frozen animals

  15. Gorgeous spring weather certainly helps inspire us!

    Thanks to No Child Left Behind, science instruction is seriously lacking at school. This book will be a great boon for our outdoor explorations. I appreciate your highlighting it!
    Julia´s latest post: Rainbow Games, Part 1: Using Chalk and Bins


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