The author-illustrator team of Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long have done it again. Done in the same style as their other books (A Seed is Sleepy, A Butterfly is Patient and An Egg is Quiet), A Rock is Lively combines astonishingly beautiful detailed illustrations, lyrical text and fascinating facts to produce a non-fiction book like no other. (Well, like their others but not like others by anyone else.)
I love the adjectives that Aston uses to describe rocks, often in surprising ways. Rocks are lively if you think about magma bubbling under the Earth’s crust. Rocks are mixed up (combinations of different minerals), tiny (sand), and helpful (did you know crocodiles swallow rocks as ballast?). Rocks are also creative (ground into paint for ancient pictographs or carved by Michelangelo into the form of David). What really sets this book apart however, are Long’s illustrations. Somehow Long is able to paint lapis lazuli that is almost as beautiful as the real thing. The book is worth getting just to gaze at the gorgeous end-pages but if you do get your hand on it, go ahead and read the middle too. You won’t be sorry.
Non-Fiction Monday is hosted this week at Jean Little Library.
A Rock is Lively has been nominated for a Cybils award in the non-fiction picture book category.