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If Rocks Could Sing


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About the Author

LESLIE MCGUIRK says that when she was a child she wanted to be a game warden in Africa. Instead, she grew up to become an author and illustrator whose favorite topic is the animals she loves so much.
Leslie is the author-illustrator of many children's books, including the Tucker the Dog books, Pip the Penguin, and Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons.


Review, The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2011
"There is as much wit here as there is potential pedagogy: The rock that is used to show "O is for ouch!" looks as though it is shouting and wincing at the same time; the slab of "toast" used to illustrate the letter T so nearly resembles whole-grain bread that you can imagine yourself biting into it." Review, School Library Journal, May 1, 2011
"Sure to spark imaginative rock-finding hunts and found-object art projects, this quirky title will earn its place in any picture-book collection." Review, Booklist, May 1, 2011
"With clean page design, restrained use of color, and minimal text, this intriguing book showcases the rocks themselves and may inspire children to discover their own found art." Review, Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2011:
"Begs to be pored over again and again." Review, Publisher's Weekly, March 14, 2011:
"It's an unusual labor of love that may have kids checking the ground for familiar shapes."

PreS-Gr 1-This unique alphabet book features photos of ocean-sculpted rocks lovingly collected over the course of a decade by the author. McGuirk amassed a complete alphabet of letter-shaped rocks, which she pairs with other humorously representational geologic findings. She puts the emphasis on the rocks themselves, employing simple text, solid backgrounds, and spare, yet engaging layouts to showcase her finds. Additional whimsical embellishments are occasionally used to complete the imaginative leap for the book's audience, though there is no need to rely on such additions for the letters all are easily recognizable. The collection ranges from a dog-shaped rock chained to a tiny wooden doghouse ("D is for dog") and a boot-shaped stone kicking an orange ball ("K is for kick") to an array of pale faces set against a dark backdrop ("G is for ghosts") and a pair of fish-shaped rocks with perfect smiling faces ("J is for joy"). Each image invites discovery and, once recognized by readers, will evoke amazement, laughter, or sighs of satisfaction. While reminiscent of Saxton Freymann's vegetable creations, McGuirk's stones stand alone for the sheer "wow" factor that nature can create. This concept book will be at home in storytimes and classroom read-aloud sessions, though children may wish to take it home and give each stone a closer look. Sure to spark imaginative rock-finding hunts and found-object art projects, this quirky title will earn its place in any picture-book collection.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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