100 books like A Rock Is Lively

By Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that A Rock Is Lively fans have personally recommended if you like A Rock Is Lively. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of If I Were a Tree

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Author Of Weeds Find a Way

From my list on to get kids outside and exploring nature.

Who am I?

I’ve been getting kids out into nature as an environmental education professional for over 30 years, in the garden, in the mountains, at the seashore, and in nearby nature. My life’s work, whether I am writing or teaching, is to help people experience the wonder of the natural world. I believe that children and adults need access to nature to grow and thrive, to find peace in a busy world, and to connect with each other. I know that, just like weeds, we can find a way to navigate the challenges in our lives when we connect with nature’s sustaining goodness wherever we find it.

Cindy's book list on to get kids outside and exploring nature

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Why did Cindy love this book?

Behind weeds, trees are perhaps the most common plant many kids will encounter in their day to day lives, and another way children can access nature near home and school. And while trees are complex living things at the apex of the plant kingdom, they often are unnoticed and underappreciated. This beautiful lyrical picture book gives children a context to explore what a tree can do through kid-sized comparisons to what children can also do. Use it to help children explore one of the most common features of both urban and rural landscapes: trees.

By Andrea Zimmerman, Jing Jing Tsong (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If I Were a Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Two siblings imagine life as a tree, and envision what they would hear, feel, and see.

If I were a tree, I know how I'd be.
My trunk strong and wide, my limbs side to side,
I'd stand towering tall, high above all,
My leaves growing big, and buds on each twig.
If I were a tree, that's how I'd be.

The sister has camped in the forest many times before. The brother is nervous for his first overnight trip. As the illustrations in this multifaceted picture book show the siblings discovering the woods, the text celebrates the strength and…


Book cover of Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Carol Fisher Saller Author Of The Bridge Dancers

From my list on nature providing strength and healing.

Who am I?

I’m not an expert in gardening, forestry, or herbal medicine. But like everyone else, I have a growing awareness that our planet Earth is entirely dependent on thriving forests and insects and even weeds. We owe it to our children and future generations to learn about and protect our precious resources. Although I live in the big city of Chicago and have a tiny backyard, last year I turned my little grass lawn into prairie! I have creeping charlie, dandelions, creeping phlox, sedge grass, wild violets, white clover, and who knows what else. (Luckily, my neighbors are on board.) I’ve already seen honeybees and hummingbirds. It’s not much, but it’s something I can do.

Carol's book list on nature providing strength and healing

Carol Fisher Saller Why did Carol love this book?

Many of us tend to view gardens only from the surface up.

This book dives underground to show how many living things in the dirt are working hard to help us garden. Worms and insects that we might find “gross” are actually essential for airing the soil and warding off invaders.

Plenty of things grow just fine without human help because they have all the helpers they need under the earth. This book shows how nature goes about its business, plants and insects and animals all working together to green the earth.

Bonus: Neal’s illustrations are anatomical wonders, showing worms and bugs with legs and feelers in a friendly light. Squeamish children (and their parents) might make a few buggy friends as they read.

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A companion to the new Over and Under the Pond and Over and Under the Snow, this sweet book explores the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year.

Up in the garden, the world is full of green-leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing and all the other animals that make a garden their home. In this exuberant and lyrical book, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves... and down…


Book cover of Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Author Of Weeds Find a Way

From my list on to get kids outside and exploring nature.

Who am I?

I’ve been getting kids out into nature as an environmental education professional for over 30 years, in the garden, in the mountains, at the seashore, and in nearby nature. My life’s work, whether I am writing or teaching, is to help people experience the wonder of the natural world. I believe that children and adults need access to nature to grow and thrive, to find peace in a busy world, and to connect with each other. I know that, just like weeds, we can find a way to navigate the challenges in our lives when we connect with nature’s sustaining goodness wherever we find it.

Cindy's book list on to get kids outside and exploring nature

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Why did Cindy love this book?

Monarch butterflies make a migration of thousands of miles every year, visiting milkweed plants throughout the USA and Canada before migrating south to overwinter in Central Mexico. This lyrical and narrative nonfiction science mystery tells the story of how scientists and ordinary people – citizen scientists – discovered the paths monarchs take in their annual journey. Use this to begin an exploration of how regular folks can help preserve nature by participating in citizen science projects, and to emphasize that there is often more to nature’s mysteries than meets the eye.

By Meeg Pincus, Yas Imamura (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winged Wonders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

2020 Golden Kite Nonfiction Honor Award
2020 EUREKA Excellence in Nonfiction Honor Award
2020 Finalist AAAS/Subaru Award
2020 Kirkus Best Picture Books
2021 Bank Street Best Children's Books
2020 NCTE Notable Book

For decades, as the monarch butterflies swooped through every year like clockwork, people from Canada to the United States to Mexico wondered, "Where do they go?" In 1976 the world learned the answer: after migrating thousands of miles, the monarchs roost by the millions in an oyamel grove in Central Mexico's mountains. But who solved this mystery? Was it the scientist or the American adventurer? The citizen scientists…


Book cover of Seashells: More Than a Home

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Author Of Weeds Find a Way

From my list on to get kids outside and exploring nature.

Who am I?

I’ve been getting kids out into nature as an environmental education professional for over 30 years, in the garden, in the mountains, at the seashore, and in nearby nature. My life’s work, whether I am writing or teaching, is to help people experience the wonder of the natural world. I believe that children and adults need access to nature to grow and thrive, to find peace in a busy world, and to connect with each other. I know that, just like weeds, we can find a way to navigate the challenges in our lives when we connect with nature’s sustaining goodness wherever we find it.

Cindy's book list on to get kids outside and exploring nature

Cindy Jenson-Elliott Why did Cindy love this book?

The seashore is a place to explore nature close to home for many children on coasts around the world, and seashells are a place to start that exploration, even for children who are land bound. This book uses lyrical and expository language to explore the ways creatures create and use shells, as well as the structure and function of shells. Use this book to begin an exploration of the ocean and seashore ecosystems.

By Melissa Stewart, Sarah S. Brannen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seashells as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning nonfiction author Melissa Stewart reveals the surprising ways seashells provide more than shelter to the mollusks that inhabit them.

Young naturalists discover thirteen seashells in this elegant introduction to the remarkable versatility of shells. Dual-layered text highlights how shells provide more than a protective home in this expository nonfiction exploration. The informative secondary text underscores characteristics specific to each shell. Elegant watercolor illustrations create a scrapbook feel, depicting children from around the world observing and sketching seashells across shores.


Book cover of Everybody Needs a Rock

Leslie Barnard Booth Author Of A Stone Is a Story

From my list on rocks and geology for children.

Who am I?

As a child growing up in the Pacific Northwest, my pockets were often full of rocks. Rocks are beautiful and soothing to hold. They are ubiquitous treasures, available to all. But even more than this, rocks are portals to the past—to a time before humans, before animals, before plants, before microbes. I am endlessly fascinated by the stories rocks tell and by the secrets they share with us through their form and structure. I still collect rocks, and now I also write picture books about science and nature for children. The books on this list are all wonder-filled. I hope you enjoy them!

Leslie's book list on rocks and geology for children

Leslie Barnard Booth Why did Leslie love this book?

If you haven’t already shared this classic with a child, you must!

Everybody Needs a Rock sets out to explain the ten rules of finding a special, just-right rock. Deeply in tune with kids’ relationships to the stones they collect, this delightful picture book insists that you must “look a rock right in the eye” and that a rock “has to feel easy in your hand.”

This book’s gentle humor makes me grin every time, and its overarching message, that a rock is a treasure more compelling than any toy, empowers children to connect with nature and revel in their own imaginations. 

By Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Everybody Needs a Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everybody needs a rock -- at least that's the way this particular rock hound feels about it in presenting her own highly individualistic rules for finding just the right rock for you.


Book cover of If You Find a Rock

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

From my list on picture books about rocks.

Who am I?

I’m a lifelong reader of picture books who now writes my own. I hope my books inspire kids to hope, love, dream, and wonder – and to see how they fit into the world around them.

Pat's book list on picture books about rocks

Pat Zietlow Miller Why did Pat love 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.

By Peggy Christian, Barbara Hirsch Lember (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If You Find a Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think of all the rocks there are: skipping rocks, splashing rocks, climbing rocks, and wishing rocks. Children can’t help collecting them. With joyful, poetic text and luminous photographs, If You Find a Rock celebrates rocks everywhere—as well as the mysterious and wonderful places they are found.


Book cover of A Rock Can Be...

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

From my list on picture books about rocks.

Who am I?

I’m a lifelong reader of picture books who now writes my own. I hope my books inspire kids to hope, love, dream, and wonder – and to see how they fit into the world around them.

Pat's book list on picture books about rocks

Pat Zietlow Miller Why did Pat love 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.

By Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Rock Can Be... as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A rock is a rock, part of cliff, road or sea. But now can you guess what else it can be?

A rock can be a…dinosaur bone, stepping-stone, hopscotch marker, fire sparker. Find out about the many roles a rock can play in this poetic exploration of rocks around the world.

Laura Purdie Salas's lyrical, rhyming text and Violeta Dabija's glowing illustrations make simple yet profound observations about seemingly ordinary objects and encourage readers to suggest "what else it can be!" Using metaphors for a leaf (tree topper / rain stopper), a rock (hopscotch marker / fire sparker), and water…


Book cover of Rocks in His Head

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

From my list on picture books about rocks.

Who am I?

I’m a lifelong reader of picture books who now writes my own. I hope my books inspire kids to hope, love, dream, and wonder – and to see how they fit into the world around them.

Pat's book list on picture books about rocks

Pat Zietlow Miller Why did Pat love 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.

By Carol Otis Hurst, James Stevenson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rocks in His Head as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Anyone who has ever felt a little out of step with the world will identify with this true story of a man who followed his heart and his passion. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 6 to 8. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.

Some people collect stamps. Other people collect coins. Carol Otis Hurst's father collected rocks. Nobody ever thought his obsession would amount to anything. They said, "You've got rocks in your head" and "There's no…


Book cover of My Book of Rocks and Minerals: Things to Find, Collect, and Treasure

Chris Barton Author Of Glitter Everywhere!: Where it Came From, Where It's Found & Where It's Going

From my list on for glitter-loving kids.

Who am I?

I’ve written nonfiction books for children on topics ranging from daylight fluorescence to Reconstruction, from The Nutcracker to the invention of the Super Soaker. What all those topics have in common is that I didn’t know much about them when I got started. That’s definitely true for my book Glitter Everywhere! While getting familiar with more than 150 sources of information, I learned a lot about glitter. But there’s always more to know, and that also goes for the readers of my books. While mine may be the first books that someone reads about the topics I’ve explored, there’s no better feeling than knowing my books won’t be the last.

Chris' book list on for glitter-loving kids

Chris Barton Why did Chris love this book?

Since long before the modern version of glitter was created—and continuing right up to the present, alongside the plastic stuff—mica has been a major source of sparkle for people all over the world.

But given the amount of ground (no pun intended) that we cover in our book, we were limited in how much detail we could go into about the mineral itself. This photo-rich, highly browsable, well-indexed geological guide for young rockhounds and others with minerals on their minds will come in handy for readers who want to know more about mica.

By Devin Dennie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Book of Rocks and Minerals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

A stunning visual reference book for little geologists who love to find fascinating rocks all around them. 

Identify colorful gemstones, sparkly crystals, the toughest rocks, and ancient fossils. Packed with fun facts, information, and extensive photos all about the rocks and minerals that make up the world around us.

Interactive learning that engages young scholarly minds. Learn about 64 different types of rocks and minerals, how to tell the difference between them and where to find them. Dig into all the interesting geological materials from deep space to the deepest caves. You’ll even discover glow in the dark minerals and…


Book cover of The Big Book of Bling: Ritzy Rocks, Extravagant Animals, Sparkling Science, and More!

Chris Barton Author Of Glitter Everywhere!: Where it Came From, Where It's Found & Where It's Going

From my list on for glitter-loving kids.

Who am I?

I’ve written nonfiction books for children on topics ranging from daylight fluorescence to Reconstruction, from The Nutcracker to the invention of the Super Soaker. What all those topics have in common is that I didn’t know much about them when I got started. That’s definitely true for my book Glitter Everywhere! While getting familiar with more than 150 sources of information, I learned a lot about glitter. But there’s always more to know, and that also goes for the readers of my books. While mine may be the first books that someone reads about the topics I’ve explored, there’s no better feeling than knowing my books won’t be the last.

Chris' book list on for glitter-loving kids

Chris Barton Why did Chris love this book?

Its nearly 200 photograph-packed pages provide a sense of the astounding range of what makes our world shine.

One of my favorite things about researching glitter was considering why substances and creatures and other objects that glimmer and glow are so appealing to humans, regardless of what causes that sparkle. Some of the territory covered by this book (the cover itself offers a couple of hints) is also addressed in my books, but there’s lots more that I didn’t explore.

For readers especially interested in the bling of things, this book is a great next step.

By Rose Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Book of Bling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Feast your eyes on the most brilliant bling from around the world in this opulent opus, celebrating iridescent animals, things that glitter and glow, a wealth of shiny wonders, and more lavish luxuries from our planet.

Did you know that with its 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies the British imperial state crown weighs more than a guinea pig? Or if you have $3.5 million to spare you can buy a solid gold toilet? Or that there's a cave in Mexico containing giant crystals that are as long as a school bus?

From upscale splurges…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in rocks, rock music, and rock and roll?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about rocks, rock music, and rock and roll.

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