Rice and Rocks by Sandra L. Richards with illustrations by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan (Wise Ink Creative Publishing, 2016) is a story filled with so many lovely messages for petites about family, traditions, friendship and oh so much more.
In this story you will meet Giovanni, a little boy who loves to play his trumpet, read Godzilla comic books and hang out with his Congo African grey parrot, Jasper. Giovanni has invited his three best friends over for dinner at his house, when he realizes it is Sunday and his grandmother will be making her traditional Sunday dinner he is a little bit worried. He really wants to change the tradition for the day to be able to make a meal that he thinks his friends might like more.
With the help of his auntie Giovanni begins to see that traditions are all around us, that every family has certain traditions and some of them are even similar. His auntie employs a little bit of magic and turns Jasper into a very large parrot and they all fly off together to get a better understanding of the traditions his friends families might share. Giovanni’ three friends who are coming over all have their own special traditions too, what is so important is the understanding that even though we are all different we share in the same love of our families and the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Through gorgeously illustrated peaks into the Japanese, Puerto Rican, and New Orleanian cultures we see that the tradition of service rice and beans is something all four friends share together. Richards provided interesting bits of information about these different traditional foods coupled with Megan Kayleigh Sullivan’s illustrations you will be completely and utterly delighted.
This story ends just as it should, with Giovanni having a new-found appreciation and pride in the traditional Rice and Rocks that his grandma makes. The best part, his friends love this amazing dish!
This is the first picture book from Sandra L. Richards and it’s just wonderful. It is so poignant and speaks to so many families. There is so much to discuss and to learn about in this book. Rice & Rocks, I believe, will start important conversations with petites and their families about traditions and why they are so important. If traditions aren’t currently in place, I have a feeling that this book will make petites want to start having traditional meals together as a family.
This book is fabulous, the illustrations are gorgeous and perfectly capture the love that is a family. This book should be in every single library and classroom. Being proud of where we all come from, what we believe in and the traditions that make our family special and unique are so important and this book does a marvelous job of explaining that in a way petites will be able to relate.
This book is geared for petites around 4-10 years old. Although the illustrations are so eye-catching that they hold the interest of even younger petites.
Bloggers Note: A huge thank you to Sandra L. Richards and Megan Kayleigh Sullivan for use of the images in this post and for a copy of this book; all thoughts and opinion expressed are my own.