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What Can You Do with a Rock? Hardcover – Picture Book, October 12, 2021

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-What a rocking picture book this is! With a bit of geology, a bit of psychology, and a lot of fun, the author and illustrator give us a small active person of indeterminate gender and neutral pronouns in the text (and longish flippy blue hair in the illustrations), who delightedly progresses from kicking rocks, to picking them up, to skipping, dropping, sorting, studying, creating with them-and finally, using them as a stepping stone to friendship. Harking back to such gems as A Hole Is to Dig, this book in its final pages provides a quick intro to geology and some further reading, with both fiction and nonfiction suggestions. In the animated, realistic, blue-washed watercolors, perspectives vary and figures are anchored by thick, fuzzy lines. Landscapes and interiors are uncluttered, but detailed enough to convince. Many compositions featuring a path with an entry- or exit-point help to reinforce the reader-oriented viewpoint. The clear, simple, second-person text offers encouragement and elides gender, but eventually the main character and brown-skinned friend with hair in two meatball-shaped buns are wearing what most children will perceive as girls' bathing suits. VERDICT A winning blend of science, playfulness, and the warmth of personal connections, with lively, engaging illustrations, this book deserves rock-star status-Patricia D. Lothrop, formerly at St. George's Sch., Newport, RIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Author and illustrator of this joyful book give equal respect to every kind of rockhound, following a jaunty, blue-haired girl with a sidelong grin who collects, sorts, paints, makes mosaics, pitches, and contemplates." - Horn Book

"This is a lively, emotionally resonant celebration of rocks as well as humans' ways of connecting with and learning about the natural world." - Publishers Weekly

"The story's opening draws readers right into the world of rock appreciation... The child's adventures with rocks and making friends form a visual story that complements the conversational, conspiratorial text. By the end, the story widens its scope to sweet life lessons as it turns effortlessly toward friendship and the wisdom transferable from rock discovery to friend discovery. A delightful invitation." - Kirkus Reviews

"A lovely, unconventional tribute to rocks and their admirers." - Booklist

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (October 12, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1728217636
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1728217635
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 - 8 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.25 x 0.35 x 11.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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About the author

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Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: &quot;This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.&quot; (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)

Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Then, she joined an insurance company and edited its newsletter and magazine.

Now, she writes insurance information by day and children's books by night. Her first picture book, SOPHIE'S SQUASH, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf was released in 2013 from Schwartz &amp; Wade. It won the Golden Kite Award for picture book text from the SCBWI and was named a Charlotte Zolotow and an Ezra Jack Keats New Author honor book

Her second picture book, WHEREVER YOU GO, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, was released by Little, Brown in 2015. That was followed by SHARING THE BREAD, illustrated by Jill McElmurry (Schwartz &amp; Wade); THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE, illustrated by Frank Morrison (Chronicle) and SOPHIE'S SQUASH GO TO SCHOOL, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Schwartz &amp; Wade).

In 2018, New York Times bestselling BE KIND, illustrated by Jen Hill (Roaring Brook), WIDE-AWAKE BEAR illustrated by Jean Kim (HarperCollins) and LORETTA'S GIFT, illustrated by Alea Marley (Little Bee) were published. REMARKABLY YOU, illustrated by Patrice Barton (HarperCollins) and WHEN YOU ARE BRAVE, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (Little, Brown) were published in 2019, and MY BROTHER, THE DUCK, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman (Chronicle) came out in 2020.

Pat has one wonderful husband, two delightful daughters and two pampered cats. She doesn't watch much TV, but she does love &quot;Chopped.&quot; Pat lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

You can follow Pat on Twitter (@PatZMiller). You can also visit her website at or stop by, a blog she's part of.

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