In this paean to geology and friendship, Crystal and her grandfather Dan share a love of rocks. When Dan leaves a mysterious note with instructions for her to find his favorite fishing spot, it sets Crystal and her beagle Noodle on an adventure where she meets new friends and shares rocks from her collection with them.
At the fishing spot, Crystal and Noodle meet Gertie the bird, who struggles to share her grapes with others; Crystal gives Gertie a rhodonite, a rock believed to increase generosity and bravery. Their meeting is followed by a fact sheet about rhodonite and a diary entry in which Crystal reflects on her time with Gertie, noting that “Grandpa Dan explained that Gertie didn’t have any friends or family, so she never learned how to share.”
Next, they meet Squawk, a parrot who lacks confidence in his singing voice; Crystal gives the bird a chrysocolla rock, to inspire confidence and bravery. This, too, is followed by a fact sheet regarding the rock, and another diary entry. The story progresses in similar fashion, with Crystal and Noodle leaving each subsequent animal friend in a happier state than before.
The book’s design features shimmery gemstone-inspired pinks, greens, and purples, sure to delight young readers. It also has engaging illustrations and a playful typeface, with various words featured larger than others in a colorful font. The rock fact sheets are also visually appealing, with interesting tidbits, such as: “In ancient Egypt, chrysocolla was called the ‘wise stone’ because it helped enemies talk and live in peace.”
The story itself is wordy and could have been streamlined, and there’s little active conflict. This may cause young readers’ attention to drift. Additionally, some may find the many elements – diary entries, fact sheets, changing typeface—overly busy.
Nonetheless, many children love rocks, and this book provides a fun entrée into the topic. It also promotes the importance of listening to those around you and connecting with your community.
Also available as an ebook.