10 books like A Rock Is Lively

By Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Rock Is Lively. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

If I Were a Tree

By Andrea Zimmerman, Jing Jing Tsong (illustrator),

Book cover of If I Were a Tree

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.

If I Were a Tree

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.

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…


Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

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

Year round, I find “wow” moments in gardens with every new blossom, bug and delicious bite discovered. This book takes a child and her grandmother through four seasons filled with such moments, both in the garden above and dirt below. The language is fun with wasps on the prowl and frantic ants storing food for the winter. When carrots sprout, the illustrator shows them both above and below ground. And the night shift is not forgotten, with a skunk ,and bats, and moths for a spider.   

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

By Kate Messner, Christopher Silas Neal (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 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…


Winged Wonders

By Meeg Pincus, Yas Imamura (illustrator),

Book cover of Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery

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.

Winged Wonders

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.

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…


Seashells

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

Book cover of Seashells: More Than a Home

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.

Seashells

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.


Everybody Needs a Rock

By Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Book cover of Everybody Needs a Rock

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.”

Everybody Needs a Rock

By Byrd Baylor, Peter Parnall (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author 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.


If You Find a Rock

By Peggy Christian, Barbara Hirsch Lember (photographer),

Book cover of If You Find a Rock

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.

If You Find a Rock

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.


A Rock Can Be...

By Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija (illustrator),

Book cover of A Rock Can Be...

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.

A Rock Can Be...

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.

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…


Rocks in His Head

By Carol Otis Hurst, James Stevenson (illustrator),

Book cover of Rocks in His Head

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.

Rocks in His Head

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…


Fluorescence

By Manuel A. Robbins,

Book cover of Fluorescence: Gems and Minerals Under Ultraviolet Light

Manny Robbins' second book on fluorescent minerals which came out in 1994. It sold for $49.95, but now appears to be out of print but still fairly easy to find. This is a much more technical read, but has good information.

Fluorescence

By Manuel A. Robbins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For both professional mineralogists and recreational gemologists, identifies all the known locations where fluorescent minerals are found, all known species of them with quick-reference color guides, and all mineral activators and the minerals they produce fluorescence in. Also discusses in depth some key minerals, and explains how to preform simple experiments at home or in the classroom that demonstrate the underlying principles of fluorescence. Includes 12 pages of color plates. Available from Geoscience Press, Inc., 12629 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 201, Phoenix, AZ 85032. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.


Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescent Minerals

By Thomas S. Warren, Sterling Gleason, Richard C. Bostwick, Earl R. Verbeek

Book cover of Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescent Minerals: Understanding, Collecting and Displaying Fluorescent Minerals

Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescent Minerals is also a pretty good read. It is a good general overview of the subject and nicely covers the field of fluorescent activators. It doesn't have many color photographs. It was written by 4 experts in the field including the late, great Thomas Warren (he passed away in 2001) who invented the portable SW mineral lamp. Another one of my favorite guys is Earl Verbeek. He is friendly and knows his rocks. He is the curator of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. That is the complete list of books on Fluorescent minerals, not including my two books.

Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescent Minerals

By Thomas S. Warren, Sterling Gleason, Richard C. Bostwick, Earl R. Verbeek

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ultraviolet Light and Fluorescent Minerals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book takes a broad look at the hobby of mineral fluorescence. It offers discussions of the major fluorescent minerals and mineral groups, techniques for collection them either on field trips or through trade and purchase, and the many ways fluorescent minerals can be displayed and enjoyed in the home. Fluorescent minerals present a puzzle. Many are of quite ordinary appearance in daylight, but when placed under the invisible rays of an ultraviolet lamp in a darkened room, they suddenly glow in beautiful colors. The transformation is so marked and so mysteriously compelling that many people instantly wish to learn…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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

7,000+ 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.

Rocks Explore 9 books about rocks
Rock Music Explore 150 books about rock music
Rock And Roll Explore 44 books about rock and roll