“If Rocks Could Sing” – The Wall Street Journal review
on June 11, 2011
“It took Leslie McGuirk more than a decade of beachcombing in Florida to collect the curious pebbles and stones photographed for “If Rocks Could Sing” (Tricycle/Random House, 48 pages, $15.99), an endearing “discovered alphabet” for young children.
Every letter represented here, and every object described—N for nose, for instance—comes in the form of a stone that has been naturally shaped by wind and water and time. Even the book’s title is spelled out in curving and perforated rocks decorated with seaweed.
The effect is surprisingly captivating. “B is for bird,” we read, and there, tucked into a nest beside a speckled egg, sits a rock that seems to have a beak. On the next page, “C is for couch potato” gives us a spud-shaped object reclining on a pink satin chaise longue. There is as much wit here as there is potential pedagogy: The rock that is used to show “O is for ouch!” looks as though it is shouting and wincing at the same time; the slab of “toast” used to illustrate the letter T so nearly resembles whole-grain bread that you can imagine yourself biting into it. That would certainly bring on shouting and wincing.”