Rick the rock of Room 214

Julie Falatko

Book - 2022

Tired of sitting all day on the Nature Finds shelf in Room 214, a rock named Rick escapes the classroom for the great outdoors, only to discover that sometimes the greatest adventure in life is friendship.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Falatko Checked In
Children's Room jE/Falatko Checked In
Action and adventure fiction
School fiction
Picture books
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers [2022]
Main Author
Julie Falatko (author)
Other Authors
Ruth Chan, 1980- (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 4-8.
Grades 2-3.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Rick, a lumpy gray rock with googly eyes and a sweet smile, has been sitting on Room 214's Nature Finds shelf "for as long as he can remember" while on-the-move human students, portrayed with various skin tones, have all the fun, drawing and reading and singing. During a geology unit, Rick learns that his kind "hold up the world," and becomes convinced that he's made for adventure, just like the rocks that form imposing outcroppings and exploding volcanoes. Hitching a ride in a student's backpack, Rick, who sports a gold star and a green splodge, lands among a whole field of outdoor rocks, asking, "When do we explode out of volcanoes?" But the rocks, who "have never had glitter glue spilled on them," are sedentary in the extreme, wanting nothing more than to sit in silence ("We already exploded. Other times. We're done with that now"). Mixing laugh-out-loud narration with comics-style framing, previous collaborators Falatko and Chan (The Great Indoors) earn a gold star for comedy cooperation. And by restoring Rick to the shelf with a new understanding of how he inspires the students' learning and art-making, the creators show that adventure is really what you make it--and who you make it with. Ages 4--8. Author's agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Aug.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A rock wants to rock his world. Rick, a specimen residing on the Nature Finds shelf in Classroom 214, dreams of life outdoors after hearing the teacher describe the power and importance of rocks in nature. The acorn, the moss, and the bark who sit on the shelf with Rick try to convince him simply to stay with them, but Rick is bored with his sedentary existence; he wants adventures! Cleverly figuring out how to escape life as a mere shelf sitter, Rick finds himself outdoors among others of his kind but soon learns their lot isn't so hot (though their existence was the result of very hot circumstances--exploding out of volcanos)--nor is it exciting or dangerous. In fact, it's dull and lonely. Luckily for Rick, a student rescues him, returning him to his shelf and grateful pals. Rick has a rock-solid epiphany: Life in Room 214 is more rewarding than he'd realized. This sweet, gentle tale reinforces for children the reassuring idea that it's OK to try new things and explore new paths, but it's equally OK, not to mention comforting and important, to return to familiar territory. The charming digital illustrations, many set in panels, are delightfully expressive and deeply appealing; young readers will appreciate the costumes worn by the inhabitants of the Nature Finds shelf, presumably concocted by the students, who are racially diverse. One child wears a hijab. (This book was reviewed digitally.) This story rocks. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.