If You Find a Rock

written by Peggy Christian, illustrated by Barbara Hirsch Lember

Poetic text and luminous photographs celebrate rocks--skipping rocks, splashing rocks, climbing rocks, wishing rocks—as well as the different places they are found.

A quiet text contemplates a variety of rocks that children typically encounter, such as flat "skipping" rocks ("you toss it out in the water just so and see it trip across the surface, making a chain of spreading rings") to a "wishing rock" ("with a stripe running all the way round it... it must circle all the way. You whisper what you want before you throw it"). Hand-tinted black and white photos are spare and uncluttered, alternating between tightly focused shots (small hands holding various stones, for instance) with broader pastoral vistas, such as a boy leaping from rock to rock across a creek. A slight soft-focus effect helps create a timeless quality.