“A rock is a rock,” but it can be so much more.
A series of short rhyming couplets and digitally collaged illustrations celebrates the idea of rocks. Following the pattern of earlier titles on leaves and water, Salas and Dabija explore the many natural forms in which rock can be found—from the crust of the Earth to the moon’s surface, from sand dunes and molten lava to cliffs filled with birds and fossilized bones—and demonstrate many of its uses. There’s the play of skipping stones, the art of gargoyles, the utility of a bridge or breakwater, and the practicality of sparking fires and propping up books in a case. The author’s two-word images (“Food grinder / Path winder”) are each set on a single page and clearly illustrated in spreads that connect ideas that are sometimes quite disparate through color echoes and occasional repeated details. There is a hint of seasonal organization, and the book ends with the harvest and wintry snow. The backmatter provides further explanation for these 22 images, including, for example, instructions for hopscotch and the origin of diamonds.
The economy of language and breadth of imagination suggests a broad audience for this wide-ranging and inventive exploration. (glossary, further reading) (Informational picture book. 4-10)