Picture Book

Poetic Science: A Rock is Lively

We don’t always think of rocks as things that posses life, but Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylia Long show us that rocks are more lively than we think. From erupting volcanoes, to galactic meteors, to beautiful crystals, A Rock is Lively highlights the wonderful world of the rocks around us. The poetic language of Dianna Hutts Aston and the detailed illustrations of Sylvia Long make this book a treat for the eyes and the ears.

“From the award-winning creators of An Egg is Quiet, A Seed is Sleepy, and A Butterfly is Patient comes this gorgeous and informative introduction to the fascinating world of rocks. From dazzling blue Lapis Lazuli to volcanic Snowflake Obsidian, an incredible variety of rocks is showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this book introduces children to a captivating array of rock facts, making it equally enjoyable in a classroom reading circle as on a parent’s lap.” – Chronicle Books

A Rock Is Lively

biblio basics 

  • A Rock is Lively  by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2012
  • Format & Genre: Picture Book, Non-fiction
  • Age Range: 6 to 11 years
  • Themes: Science, Nature
  • Source: Purchased Copy

A Rock is Lively is the fourth offering by the team of Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long. The pair have formed a winning combination and are making non-fiction books for children both informative and beautiful. The poetic language coupled with the detailed paintings make for a beautiful exploration of the rocks all around us.


I received a degree in geoscience and this book captures the passion that geologists have for their field perfectly (if you have ever met a geologist, you’ll know what I mean). We as people have an innate connection with the Earth, and the rocks that make up our home. This book captures both the utility and the beauty of all the rocks around us. All of Long’s illustrations are extremely detailed paintings, and you just need to look to the inside cover to be hooked. You could easily spend an hour inspecting each of the rock images on these pages, they truly are works of art.

Beautiful rock paintings in A Rock is Lively.

The poetic language of this book makes it distinct from other non-fiction books. Hutts Aston has done an excellent job of capturing the beauty and indeed, the liveliness, of rocks in her words. This book is an excellent read aloud choice for primary school age children, and might prompt a new found love of geology in your littles. The independent reading level of the book is about grade 5 (Scholastic puts at 5.4), so not only is it a great read aloud book, your primary school readers can explore it on their own.

I hope you and your little readers enjoy learning about all the wonderful rocks in the world with this fabulous read!


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