Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rhoda's Rock Hunt, by Molly Beth Griffin (illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell)

Oooh I love this book! Sometimes when a children's book is fantastic, it's hard to find a creative way to say "it's fantastic" because, well, many children's books are. Let's see. What I really mean is "as a parent, there are zero things which annoy me about this book" and "this book would continue to not annoy me, even after reading it forty times." If you're the parent of a preschooler, these are very important factors to consider.

But what kind of fantastic is it? Is it the kind that kids will love but parents will merely tolerate? Is it the kind that is so funny that parents will be laughing out loud but kids won't get the joke? Is it the kind that is educational so parents and teachers will want to read it with kids? I guess it's mostly the last one, but primarily it's a lovely story with lovely illustrations.

A little girl named Rhoda is excited to be going on a big hiking and camping trip with her aunt and uncle, mostly because of all of the interesting rocks she'll find. The only problem is that since they all have so much gear to carry, Rhoda absolutely must be responsible for carrying her own backpack. When her bag inevitably gets too heavy to lift, she'll have to decide which rocks to take and which to leave behind, not an easy decision for an amateur geologist like Rhoda.

My daughter and I both loved the idea of a rock collecting little girl, because we also love finding interesting rocks and seeing what we can learn about them. I also liked the problem solving aspect of Rhoda's journey. She has to leave behind some of her rocks and no amount of fuming is going to get her aunt and uncle to carry her bag for her. They simply can't give in to her frustration because they have their own stuff to carry. On the other hand, they sympathize with Rhoda enough to let her take some time to figure things out on her own. They're pretty great caregivers, those two. Well, they must be, because Rhoda's parents trusted them to take her into the woods for several days without them!

Magda's Take:
"I really loved the part where Rhoda's backpack is too heavy and she was trying so hard to pull it but she couldn't. That was pretty funny."

Book Details:
Rhoda's Rock Hunt
by Molly Beth Griffin
Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
Published by Minnesota Historical Society Press
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
View on Amazon

Source: Edelweiss

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