Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Rock Is Lively

A Rock Is Lively

Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrator:  Sylvia Long 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Chronicle Books, 2012   ISBN: 978-1452106458

Rocks are solid inanimate unmoving things. They are buried under mountains, lie on river beds, and sit on shelves. There was a time though where these same rocks were “lively.” Long ago, deep underground, these rocks were formed during a process that was full of change. Some, because of the minerals that they contain, acquired colors, like the brilliant blue lapis lazuli. Others, formed crystals like quartz and amethyst.

There are some rocks that were not formed on Earth at all. They came from outer space and were brought here by meteorites, comets, or asteroids. Their journey was full of drama and adventure.

Though most rocks have unobtrusive existences, others have a more glamorous role to play. Some rocks are turned into tools by animals and humans. Other rocks, geodes, have hidden wonders inside them and they are greatly prized by collectors who carefully break them open to reveal the crystal worlds within. Some rocks are used to make things that humans use all the time like glass, cement, and pencils. Then there are the rocks that artists have used as surfaces to paint on. Some rocks even are ground up to make colorful paints. There are people who have gone to get expense and spent a lot of time creating sculptures and monuments out of marble, granite, limestone and other kinds of rock.

With a lyrical text and beautiful annotated illustrations, the author and illustrator of this book show readers that rocks have fascinating stories, and they play many important roles in our lives. Though they may seem boring, they have an interesting history and often are very beautiful.

This in one in a series of titles that explore the natural world around us. Other titles in the series include An Egg is Quiet and A seed is sleepy.