A Rock Is Lively

by Dianna Hutts Aston

Paperback, 2015



Local notes

E Ast




Chronicle Books (2015), Edition: Reprint, 40 pages


Juvenile Nonfiction. Nature. Picture Book Nonfiction. HTML: From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, and A Butterfly Is Patient comes a gorgeous and informative introduction to the fascinating world of rocks. From dazzling blue lapis lazuli to volcanic snowflake obsidian, an incredible variety of rocks are showcased in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this book introduces an array of facts, making it equally perfect for classroom sharing and family reading..


Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Nonfiction — 2014)
New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards (Winner — Children's Picture Book — 2014)
Hampshire Book Awards (Shortlist — Information Book Award — 2016)


Original language


Physical description

40 p.; 9 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member debnance
If you want Astonishingly Amazingly Beautiful in a children's book, look no further than the writing/illustrating team of Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long. A Rock is Lively is Aston and Long's fourth joint effort following the success of An Egg is Quiet, A Seed is Sleepy, and A Butterfly is
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I knew this would be a lovely book, but I'd almost despaired of obtaining a copy in time to evaluate it for the Cybils when my librarian friend surprised me with the book last week.

I hope you'll forgive me for loving this book best of the series as my husband is a longtime rockhound and gem cutter. I've seen a lot of beautiful rocks and a lot of beautiful rock books, but I must say that I've never seen more beautiful rocks in a more beautiful rock book. And not only is it beautiful, but it explains rocks better than any other rock book for children that I've read.

Fabulous. It will not disappoint.
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LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
Sigh. This book is so beautiful and has a simple main text with additional information on each spread, making it a great choice to share with kids. It includes interesting facts, giving young readers a basic overview of geology and how rocks are used by people and animals. However, there are no
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sources cited, which breaks my heart. :(
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LibraryThing member Sullywriter
Like the other wonderful books by these collaborators, this introduction to rocks and minerals features beautiful, lavish illustrations and great information.
LibraryThing member jenstrongin
Absolutely beautiful illustrations. A great book for a child with an interest in geology!
LibraryThing member leighle5
In pieces, this book was great! It gave many different types of rocks, uses for rocks, and explanations of how rocks came to be! Of all the geological books we've read the past few weeks, this was certainly a favorite. The illustrations were detailed and labeled with scientific data which made my
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students even more excited.
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LibraryThing member kljohns8
Dianna Hutts Aston uses fluid and poetic writing to make studying rocks exciting and interesting for young readers. The water-color illustrations are striking and, dare I say it....lively. As each type of rock is mentioned, it is preceded by an introduction written in cursive that reads “a rock
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is....” followed by an adjective to describe it-- “surprising” is one example. In this section the author discusses what rocks look like on the inside. The book gives information about rocks melted deep within the earth and ventures far into information about some rocks in space.

Readers also learn how rocks are valuable to both people and animals, which is great because rocks are typically overlooked by kids, except for me. As a child, I was a rock collector. It drove my mom crazy. :)

While visually appealing, the cursive writing may be difficult for the book’s targeted audience to read, as I’ve notice about 98% of my 6th grade students have never learned how to write in cursive.

A list of further reading would have really benefitted kids whose interest was peaked about geology. There is also no list of works cited which doesn’t tell us the extent of the author’s knowledge and from where she pulled the information. It would also have been great to show some actual photos of the rocks alongside the beautiful illustrations.

Still, the book is a great tool to introducing an easily boring subject to possibly reluctant readers.
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LibraryThing member crieder95
A Rock is Lively is a great informational, scientific books for students. Not only is this book filled with scientific facts but it also contains some historical facts with rocks too. Throughout the book the process of a "lively" rock is followed from molten magma to rock formation. Then the book
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travels through the many lives of a rock. The rocks in space as meteorites, big and small rocks, how animals use rocks, the colors of a rock, what are made of rocks, writing on rocks in caves, and pyramids, Stonehenge, and Mount Rushmore. The book perfectly puts down these science facts in a format and wording that interests a child and helps them understand. Such as talking about the mixes of rocks like a recipe.
Aside from the beautiful illustrations the format of the book is set up interestingly. The beginning or main idea of that page is written in bigger script and set apart from the more informational text on the page. This helps a young reader see the big idea, or main point, and then focus on the evidence and further analysis. Children who are interested in science will enjoy this book and can learn about future professions in dealing with rocks like a geologist. Children who are not interested in rocks may at least enjoy learning from this book or at the least learn something new.
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LibraryThing member nsnide1
I like this book because it has the perfect balance of informational text while still looking like a picture book. In fact, if you compare your typical informational text with this one it looks nothing alike. The author arranges the book to look more like a picture book which is more engaging. For
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example, rather than an actual picture of the world she uses a cartoon version. The next thing that I like about the book is the way that the author incorporates the use of informational text features. She uses headings and bold print in a subtle way to draw attention to certain facts. The big idea of this book is to introduce students to the wide array of facts about rocks.
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LibraryThing member rsochu1
I really enjoyed this book for a few reasons. First, I love the pictures. The rock illustrations are extremely realistic and beautiful. They enhance the story very much. Information about rocks could be a little dry if you don't find a way to enhance the information. Secondly, I enjoyed the way
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that the book was written and organized. The author used a few different fonts and many different organizational strategies. Having the information organized in such interesting ways on each page helps to keep the reader engaged. The big idea of this book is to introduce types of rocks and some of their uses.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Lisa and Dolly and others remind me to look for more by this team; Amy wasn't quite as impressed.
LibraryThing member ebecker13
Non-fiction book about all the different types of rocks and characteristics with them.
LibraryThing member Jcadd13
The book goes through many different characteristics that can be said of rocks such as they are old, huge, tiny, helpful, galatic, etc. and gives facts and examples for each characteristics (with illustrations). The end has a beautiful layout illustration of different rocks with labels. A downfall
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is that the titles on each page and some sections are written in cursive, which would make it hard for students to read on their own, or follow during a read aloud.
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LibraryThing member kbuffum13
This book would be a wonderful read aloud to support learning about rock in a earth science unit. I could see using this book in k-5 classroom it would just depend on the depth I would focus on in higher grades. This informational book explains different categories about rocks. Examples of this
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are, a rock is: galactic, old, mixed up, and helpful. The book also has informational text features of pictures, captions, labels, and bolded words to indicate vocabulary. This book also uses a tone that makes rocks relatable for students. The tone brings to life rocks and tells information about rocks almost like a personal narrative. The book has vivid pictures as a visual support for the information being presented in the book. The book also explains the rock cycle and how rocks can be creative.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Award-winning author/illustrator team Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long, whose previous picture-books have explored a number of different themes in the world of natural history - An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, A Butterfly Is Patient - return in this fourth marvelous collaboration, this time
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examining a diverse range of rocks. The format here is similar to that in the previous books, with a simple macro-narrative - "A rock is lively... a rock is mixed up" - and a more detailed micro-narrative, giving more information about each statement being made. The formation of rocks, their status as objects containing a mix of minerals, the age and galactic activity of rocks, the uses to which rocks have been put by animals and human beings alike - all this and more is covered here.

Like its predecessors, A Rock Is Lively pairs an informative and engaging narrative with breathtakingly beautiful artwork. I had never really devoted much time to considering rocks, even as a child, but Aston's text makes me reconsider my indifference, highlighting so many fascinating aspects of their formation and use. By the same token, Long's artwork, created using watercolor, highlights the amazing diversity and beauty of rocks, making me reconsider these objects' aesthetic worth. Although the 'before and after pages here - in each of these Aston/Long productions, there is a page at the beginning of the book showing something (eggs, seeds), and a page at the end showing what it becomes (birds, plants) - don't change visually, labels are added on the 'after' page, allowing young readers and listeners to guess at the identities of the rocks being presented, and then check their surmises. Recommended to all young children who lock rocks, or natural history in general, as well as to anyone who is an admirer of Sylvia Long's amazing artwork.
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LibraryThing member Adrinnon
This book is filled with facts about rocks and minerals. It tells you where to find them, how they are formed, and all the different kinds. GENRE: non-fiction. MEDIA: watercolor. USES: to teach about rocks and minerals, and how to read nonfiction books.
LibraryThing member sloth852
Beautifully illustrated exploration of rocks with lyrical text.




(56 ratings; 4.3)
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