Southwest Children's Literature

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Everybody Needs a Rock

Book Review:

Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor and illustrated by Peter Parnall is about a girl who finds pleasure in having a rock for a friend. This is not a typical story book; rather it is poetry that is written in prose. The book starts with a girl who says that she is sorry for those children who only have tricycles, horses, playhouses, etc, for friends. Everybody should have a rock for a friend. The rest of the book entails ten rules that one must follow in order to select the perfect rock for a friend.

The illustrations by Peter Parnall are ink drawings that are rather abstract and at first glance they are not easily understood. As soon as the words are read, the pictures become clear as glass. The illustrations complement this book very nicely by portraying its theme: with a closer look, what may appear ordinary could actually be something very special.

This book would be a good tool in the classroom to make the children think and examine the world around them. This book can be used as a metaphor for not taking what one might see at face value. Geology could even be incorporated for older children. Everybody Needs a Rock is adaptable at any level.

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