The best picture books about rocks

Pat Zietlow Miller Author Of What Can You Do with a Rock?
By Pat Zietlow Miller

The Books I Picked & Why

Everybody Needs a Rock

By Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall

Everybody Needs a Rock

Why this book?

This is the original, classic rock book against which all others are measured. It originally came out in 1974, when I was a child, and I read it to my kids more than 20 years later. Happily, it’s still around. The book is written in first person, with the main character sharing 10 rules that will help readers find their own perfect rock. One of my favorite lines from the book is: “It has to feel easy in your hand when you close your fingers over it. It has to feel jumpy in your pocket when you run.”


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If You Find a Rock

By Peggy Christian, Barbara Hirsch Lember

If You Find a Rock

Why this book?

This book talks to the readers in second person describing the different types of rocks they may find. But, the book doesn’t use their scientific names. Oh, no. This book tells you if you have a skipping rock, a wishing rock, a splashing rock, a sifting rock, a worry rock, or one of many other types of rocks. It’s illustrated with wonderful photographs of kids and rocks.


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A Rock Can Be...

By Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija

A Rock Can Be...

Why this book?

This book tells readers all kinds of things rocks can be using rhyme and whimsy. For example: “A rock can be a … tall mountain. Park fountain.” “Hopscotch marker. Fire sparker.” This book will spark imagination and conversation about all the other things rocks could be. There’s scientific rock information in the back, along with a glossary and recommended rock books.


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A Rock Is Lively

By Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long

A Rock Is Lively

Why this book?

This is a lovely, lyrical book that mixes poetic language and hard scientific facts. And it’s all supported with some of the most beautiful art I’ve ever seen in a picture book. The spread describing comets, meteorites, and asteroids is particularly wonderful. The book is part of a series that also includes: An Egg is Quiet, A Seed is Sleepy, and A Butterfly is Patient.


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Rocks in His Head

By Carol Otis Hurst, James Stevenson

Rocks in His Head

Why this book?

This book describes the life of the author’s father who was fascinated by rocks. He wasn’t able to go to college and ended up running a filling station where he displayed his favorite rocks. He visited the local science museum to see its rocks whenever he could. He got a job as a janitor at the museum and, eventually, worked his way up to curator of mineralogy. A wonderful story of rock love and never giving up on a dream.


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