Everybody Needs a Rock: read and hunt for rocks

Every once in a while you come across a book that you wonder why you have never seen it before. And why everyone is not talking about it.

Everybody Needs a Rock is one of those books for me. 

And I am going to be a person who talks about it. 

Everybody Needs a Rock
written by Byrd Baylor
illustrated by Peter Parnall
published by Aladdin (1974, reprint 1985)

summary  The author believes that everybody needs a rock. But not just any rock. The right rock. There are 10 rules to help finding the perfect-for-you rock.

Sandi's rules for reading this book.

1. Read it outside (if possible). Snuggle up, or gather in close. Listen to the cadence of the language.

2. Pictures are optional. I was reading with 20+ children. We closed our eyes and made our own pictures in our brains.  The illustrations seem to me to lend themselves to reading with one or two children rather than reading to a herd. 

3. Review the rules for looking for a rock. (only one, you find it yourself, right size, choose carefully)

4. Go and find a perfect-for-you rock.

Feel it with your hands. Make sure that it fits right. Make sure that it feels right.

Carefully look at the colour.


All one colour. Mottled.

Find the right shape. Maybe a heart rock.

5. Break the usual rule of leaving everything in its habitat, and allow the kids to bring one rock home.

Play with rocks

Stacking rocks is always good meditation.

Construct with rocks.

Read about rocks. These are some of our favourites. Carrots are Orange has a good list of kid friendly rock books.

Writing  with a stone font is beyond cool.   Andre Quirinus Zurbriggen must be a rock hound extraordinaire  - he found  rocks with all the letters of the alphabet. Upper and lower case! Click on the graphic to go to his website and write with rocks. 

Just in case I have not done an successful sales pitch for Everybody Needs a Rock, here's a reading by grade 3 kids.



  1. Wow I love this! It looks like a great book and what great activities you did with your kiddos! Thank you for sharing-I added this book to my wishlist! :)

    1. It is a lovely book. Very under known and appreciated. In my opinion.

  2. Replies
    1. A k teacher in your district told me about it at the May Pro D. She has rocks in her classroom that she introduces after reading the book - and the kids can get a rock and "fiddle" with it to self regulate.

  3. I love rocks! I understand why some kids like having them in their pockets. There is something relaxing/calming about playing with rocks. I LOVE A Rock is Lively and I'm ordering Everybody Needs a Rock! Thanks!!


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