Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Everybody Needs a Rock

Hi Readers! 

Cheerios Presents…Spoonfuls of Stories. “Cheerio’s commitment to kids doesn’t stop with breakfast. Studies show that kids who grow up around books become better readers. That’s why they’ve given away 30 million books and counting. Bringing kids and books together.” This is another book in my Cheerios and Spoonfuls of Stories series. If you’re interested in seeing more about it here is the link.  Are you fortified with Susanna’s donuts? Or my Chocolate Cream Pie? Oh! I hope so because, readers, I want you to read on.

But before we get to PPBF I want to give links to Snogames from our very own Joanne Marple:    , and the alphabet book she helped write was : I blogged her as a guest last Tuesday. Right now you can get a free trial on uTales and see the books before buying them. A great deal if you ask me. But maybe you want to get on with the special recommendation for today so here we go.

.alt._Everybody Needs a Rock.alt_book coverTitle: Everybody Needs a Rock

Author: Byrd Baylor with pictures by Peter Parnall

Published by Simon and Schuster in 1974, nonfiction

Grades K thru 5

Summary: Describes the qualities to consider when selecting the perfect rock for play and pleasure.

Themes:  self-reliance, friendship, autonomy, science, reassurance/comfort, patience, nature, books for boys, Imagination, Pets, self-expression, self acceptance, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, self-reliance, rocks and minerals, Yep, I checked the list before I wrote these down. And yep, they match up. Good thinking, huh?

Resources: Teaching Earth Science with today’s Literature is  For English and after having to close the tabs that advertise college degrees here are a wide variety of teacher guides . This lesson plan talks about how to set goals and write it on the child’s rock he found outside of school, makes a rock garden from, and when he meets his goal in six weeks, then you can say “You Rock” building more self-confidence.

Other activities suggested on the inside of this special Spoonful of Stories book is to tell a story together. One person holds a rock and begins a story such as “Once upon a time there was a rock.” Hands the rock to the next person to continue the story. The last person with the rock ends the story.  A site that explains how to classify rocks and also how to write rules for other things like leaves or shells is Carol Hurst’s web site,  including writing rules for something worth having. There was no end to google’s list of lesson plans however I had a hard time finding an image of the book that WordPress would take. All the jpgs were blurry. Finally in trying everything, I hit on the idea of getting one of these htm images and saving as, I clicked on it and it came out as a jpg. Something I could use.

First three lines: “Everybody needs a rock. I’m sorry for kids who don’t have a rock for a friend. I’m sorry for kids who only have TRICYCLES










They don’t have



For a friend.”

Why I loved it: It gave ten very honest and clear rules on why and how someone should have a rock for a friend, their own friend. And not just any rock but a very special rock. The author is talking to the reader in a friendly conspiratorial voice while telling him such things as don’t tell anyone what is special about your rock. “Nobody is supposed to know what’s special about another person’s rock.” Then rule number one- “If you can, go to a mountain made out of nothing but a hundred million small shiny beautiful roundish rocks. But if you can’t, anyplace will do. Even an alley. Even a sandy road.”

Baylor makes even the lowest person feel special with his descriptions and his voice includes everyone. The line drawings that illustrate this book are magical. Each one has a perfect rock and a women’s figure hidden in it. And these line drawings are very simple and sparse using brown and black only.

Here is a tip from “This story shows us that joy is abundant in the quiet and beauty of nature. Take your time getting to know this book—invite your child to take a closer look at the pictures. Can you find what’s hidden? Hang back enough to let your child lead the way.”

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

So tell me readers, would you like to read this book? Why?

A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal.

A box of Cheerios breakfast cereal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, Perfect Picture Book Friday, social networking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Everybody Needs a Rock

  1. Sounds like a very fun book! Loved your excellent thinking 🙂 And the activities look great. Who knew there were so many Cheerios books? I had no idea!


  2. What a special book and I’m posting your link on my FB Author Page as usual!


  3. clarbojahn says:

    Thanks Sandra, I’ll return the favor and post your next blog on mine. 🙂


  4. I would have enjoyed this book as a kid. I used to collect rocks and Indian heads. I used to tumble rocks. This sounds like a special book. Thanks for the memories. And, I continue to love your sharing the cheerios books with us. Some real gems.


  5. Oh my — I *WANT* this book! It sounds fantastic (she said as she looked up at the small rock on her bookcase). Thank you, Clar! And as Susanna said, I had no idea there were so many Cheerios books!


  6. Hmmm…. Seems like I’ve seen this book before. Not hard to imagine seeing as how it’s older than I am. Do I have this book stowed away at home in a box somewhere? Thanks for sharing.


  7. Catherine Johnson says:

    This sounds like a lovely peaceful story. Thanks Clar!


  8. I love the idea of illustrations inside illustrations, very clever. I to cannot believe there are so many Cheerios books.


  9. I love the conspiratorial voice in this book, Clar. I can’t believe how many great books you are finding for us in your Cheerio boxes… what a commitment, to eat all that cereal for kidlit 🙂 And thanks again for the SNOW GAMES shout out.


    • clarbojahn says:

      You’re so welcome, Joanna. it was my pleasure.

      Actually I gave the Cheerios to my niece who has teen boys and they made short work out of it I kept the books. LOL. Easy.


  10. WOW! That is a LOT of Cheerios! 😉 This book looks very very good! 🙂


    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, It was about ten boxes of Cheerios. But I gave them to my niece who has teenage boys who are always hungry so it made a nice present to her and I kept the books. Cool, huh?

      This is my favorite book so far. And knowing what comes after. I’ll say this is my favorite book from the bunch. 🙂


  11. Margot Finke says:

    WOW! This is a way special and interesting picture book. Remember the pet rock craze? I would love to know what made Byrd Baylor dream up this story? Fascination premise.

    *Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques


    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, maybe not so far from home. huh? I do want to find a pet rock with my grandson this summer. He lives in an apartment house far from nature while I live in the country. And after he gets over being scared of his own shadow after a couple of days we will go on an adventure finding a rock to be friends with. It can be his pet rock if he wants or a friend. I’ll read this book to him first. 🙂


  12. We love this book! And we love rocks. In fact, we just brought some rocks home from the Dino Dig at LEGOLand to add to our collection. Rocks and LEGOs…what more could a boy want?


Comments are closed.