The best books about rocks

3 authors have picked their favorite books about rocks and why they recommend each book.

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Old Rock (Is Not Boring)

By Deb Pilutti,

Book cover of Old Rock (Is Not Boring)

Old Rock's friends think that he has a boring life. Yes, he's been sitting in the same spot for many, many years. But Old Rock tells them about the time he flew (out of a volcano!) and the dinosaurs he met and the time he lived inside a glacier. Seems Old Rock's life has not only been long, but very exciting! With the various characters in the book, there's fun dialogue begging to be read aloud. Your budding geologist, paleontologists, and historians will love to hear you read this book aloud.


Who am I?

I'm an award-winning children's book author who loves everything about kid's books--including the smell! With over 50 books on bookstore shelves-- which have been read aloud hundreds of times all over the world-- I feel that I've become an expert on the subject.


I wrote...

People Don't Bite People

By Lisa Wheeler, Molly Idle (illustrator),

Book cover of People Don't Bite People

What is my book about?

People Don't Bite People is a humorous, yet helpful, look at a common early childhood problem. As the book says...It's good to bite a carrot. It's good to bite a steak. It's bad to bite your sister. She's not a piece of cake! Yes, there are a lot of things that go into toddler and preschool mouths. A person should not be one of them!

The Jupiter Stone

By Owen Paul Lewis,

Book cover of The Jupiter Stone

With simple, colorful drawings and age-appropriate text, author-illustrator Lewis relays the amazing journey of a Jupiter-striped stone through the cosmos, including its brief billion-year stop on Earth. I absolutely adore this book and use it as a mentor text in my classes to show new and experienced writers how children’s picture books can touch the soul. Working with only 32 pages and minimal words, Lewis captures the wonder of the universe and the never-ending story of where we, as humans, fit into the heavens. The twist at the end is pure magic.


Who am I?

Fairy tales were my first love but I didn’t discover the true magic of children’s picture books until I left my 25-year career as an attorney to enter an MFA program. Wow, was I amazed. Picture books—books in which pictures tell an integral part of the story—not only create an instant connection between reader and little listener but stay with us into adulthood as memories. With this insight, I dove into the genre to discover what distinguishes picture books that are read and reread from those that fade. The answer turns out to be—tales that engender awe and wonder, yarns with heart, and narratives about friendship and kindness. Those are the stories that stay with us forever.


I wrote...

Dario and the Whale

By Cheryl Lawton Malone, Bistra Masseva (illustrator),

Book cover of Dario and the Whale

What is my book about?

When Dario and his mother move to Cape Cod from Brazil, Dario has a hard time making friends because he doesnt speak English well. But one day Dario meets someone else who has just arrived in New England, and he doesn’t speak English at all—a right whale! Inspired by the author’s real-life encounter with a whale, Dario and the Whale (Albert Whitman) captures the heart-warming efforts of a migrant boy to make friends and fit in. 

Dario is the Massachusetts selection for the Library of Congress 2021 Great Reads From Great Places award, a 2019 Massachusetts Book honoree, and recipient of numerous starred reviews including Shelf-Awareness.

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.”


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.


I wrote...

What Can You Do with a Rock?

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Katie Kath (illustrator),

Book cover of What Can You Do with a Rock?

What is my book about?

My book is a love letter to rocks and all the amazing things you can do with them. Rocks seem simple, but offer endless possibilities. Rocks sparkle, skip and tell stories. They can be building blocks, mosaics, or memories. They can even be a little bit magic. This book – inspired by my daughter Sonia and her never-ending childhood rock collection – is an ode to curiosity and creative play.

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.


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.


I wrote...

What Can You Do with a Rock?

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Katie Kath (illustrator),

Book cover of What Can You Do with a Rock?

What is my book about?

My book is a love letter to rocks and all the amazing things you can do with them. Rocks seem simple, but offer endless possibilities. Rocks sparkle, skip and tell stories. They can be building blocks, mosaics, or memories. They can even be a little bit magic. This book – inspired by my daughter Sonia and her never-ending childhood rock collection – is an ode to curiosity and creative play.

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.


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.


I wrote...

What Can You Do with a Rock?

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Katie Kath (illustrator),

Book cover of What Can You Do with a Rock?

What is my book about?

My book is a love letter to rocks and all the amazing things you can do with them. Rocks seem simple, but offer endless possibilities. Rocks sparkle, skip and tell stories. They can be building blocks, mosaics, or memories. They can even be a little bit magic. This book – inspired by my daughter Sonia and her never-ending childhood rock collection – is an ode to curiosity and creative play.

A Rock Is Lively

By Dianna Hutts Aston, Sylvia Long (illustrator),

Book cover of A Rock Is Lively

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.

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.


I wrote...

What Can You Do with a Rock?

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Katie Kath (illustrator),

Book cover of What Can You Do with a Rock?

What is my book about?

My book is a love letter to rocks and all the amazing things you can do with them. Rocks seem simple, but offer endless possibilities. Rocks sparkle, skip and tell stories. They can be building blocks, mosaics, or memories. They can even be a little bit magic. This book – inspired by my daughter Sonia and her never-ending childhood rock collection – is an ode to curiosity and creative play.

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.


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.


I wrote...

What Can You Do with a Rock?

By Pat Zietlow Miller, Katie Kath (illustrator),

Book cover of What Can You Do with a Rock?

What is my book about?

My book is a love letter to rocks and all the amazing things you can do with them. Rocks seem simple, but offer endless possibilities. Rocks sparkle, skip and tell stories. They can be building blocks, mosaics, or memories. They can even be a little bit magic. This book – inspired by my daughter Sonia and her never-ending childhood rock collection – is an ode to curiosity and creative play.

A Stone Sat Still

By Brendan Wenzel (illustrator),

Book cover of A Stone Sat Still

I absolutely adore this book by Brendan Wenzel. It’s all about a stone and how various animals see it and describe it in completely different ways. It contains a powerful message about how we all have different perspectives. Many different factors play into our perspectives such as life experiences, our upbringing, our personality, and our attitude. It was a wonderful conversation starter with my children so we could talk about how we can change our attitudes and shape our perspectives to achieve a more happy life. 


Who am I?

I've always believed in the power behind positive thinking, but it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of worry or disappointment. I picked this topic because I feel that perspective is the tool that can help us change a negative attitude into a positive one. We don’t always have control of various things happening in the world around us. However, we do have the power to try to change our perspective and look at things in a more positive way. I believe this skill is essential to find gratitude and happiness in life, and I love how each of these books approach the topic of the importance of perspective in different ways.


I wrote...

The Fun Thieves

By Carli Valentine,

Book cover of The Fun Thieves

What is my book about?

Disappointment looms when fun activities keep getting canceled due to the fun thievery by different elements in nature. But are these thieves really all bad

Children will learn to keep positive attitudes when dealing with frustrating situations and change their perspectives to help them look on the bright sideRelatable situations will help to teach kids to try to find the good in something that seems to be all bad.

Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

By Mr. Jay, Erin Wozniak (illustrator),

Book cover of Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

I love reading Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll to my kids. It’s a book that I don’t mind reading over and over again. It’s written in verse and I absolutely adore the cute illustrations. This story is about a rock that really wants to roll, but has a flat side so he doesn’t think he ever will. His friends work very hard to help him and are able to bring a new perspective on how to solve the problem. Finally, with the help of his friends and their new ideas, Ricky is able to roll. I love the fact that Ricky’s friends bring a whole new perspective to help solve his problem and work together to help him to fulfill his dream. 


Who am I?

I've always believed in the power behind positive thinking, but it’s easy to get caught up in feelings of worry or disappointment. I picked this topic because I feel that perspective is the tool that can help us change a negative attitude into a positive one. We don’t always have control of various things happening in the world around us. However, we do have the power to try to change our perspective and look at things in a more positive way. I believe this skill is essential to find gratitude and happiness in life, and I love how each of these books approach the topic of the importance of perspective in different ways.


I wrote...

The Fun Thieves

By Carli Valentine,

Book cover of The Fun Thieves

What is my book about?

Disappointment looms when fun activities keep getting canceled due to the fun thievery by different elements in nature. But are these thieves really all bad

Children will learn to keep positive attitudes when dealing with frustrating situations and change their perspectives to help them look on the bright sideRelatable situations will help to teach kids to try to find the good in something that seems to be all bad.

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