A Chip Off the Old Block

illus. by Daniel Miyares. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Feb. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399173882.
K-Gr 3—Rocky, a pebble, determines to do something important by becoming part of the rock formation of one of his illustrious rock family members. He visits his cousin, The Wave, in Arizona but loses a piece of himself when he's blown by the wind. Undaunted, he travels via an eagle's talon to Devil's Tower in Wyoming where a storm washes him away. Rocky proceeds to Dinosaur Valley in Texas and stands guard on sauropod tracks until an armadillo brushes him aside. When he arrives at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, he discovers the park is closed because Lincoln's nose is cracked. Since he's the perfect size to fill that crack, though, Rocky leaps into place and saves the day. In addition to descriptions of rock formations within the text, back matter includes more detailed information on the formations Rocky visits, as well as others, and a discussion of different kinds of rocks. An author's note reveals how actual cracks at Rushmore are repaired. Word play is peppered throughout the text, such as "stone's throw away" and "didn't share the same sediment," providing some humor. The illustrations, executed with watercolor, acrylics, and digital tools, depict amusing scenes of Rocky's perilous journey and some impressive spreads of the majestic rock formations.
VERDICT This title may be a jumping-off point for a group discussion of perseverance in the face of obstacles as well as an introduction to famous rock formations. However, it feels a bit forced and the events in Rocky's journey are too contrived to be wholly satisfying.

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