Friday, September 25, 2009

if you find a rock

Today Poetry Friday is hosted by Susan Taylor Brown--thanks!

In our county, first graders spend the fall on a science unit about Rocks, Soil and Worms, and in my class the initial reading assessment requirements are nearly fulfilled so I'm looking forward to Rocktober.

You know how some books reach in and grab you by the heart? If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian is one of those for me. It's not marketed as a volume of poetry, but it works that way, and the "colortoned" photos by Barbara Hirsch Lember picture, in a slightly surreal way, real children doing real things with real rocks. They fill the simple, measured text with even more gravity. The message is that playing with rocks is serious business. Here's a sample.

If you find a rock--
a big rock--
by the edge of the water,
then you have found
a splashing rock.
When it hits the surface,
the water jumps
out of the way,
raining back down
on your outstretched hands.
The bigger the rock,
the wetter you get.

The other thing I love about this book is its element of magical realism--there's science content here, physics and biology and paleontology, but it's all mixed in with aesthetics and emotion and even the possibility of wishes granted. Just like real life.

And now, to spoil the mood, I must just announce again that THURSDAY IS THE DAY! Pumpkin Butterfly: Poems from the Other Side of Nature has its official release this week! Become PB's fan on facebook!


  1. Thanks for sharing this poem, Heidi. I love the visuals. Sounds like a great book.

  2. Ooh, I love that excerpt you shared. Fantastic! I'll have to look for this one.

    And congratulations on Pumpkin Butterfly!

  3. I'm finally checking out your blog! I love this book and often pair it with Byrd Baylor's book, EVERYBODY NEEDS A ROCK. It's not poetry either, but sure reads like it.


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