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Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen for Readers' Favorite
Rice and Rocks by Sandra L. Richards is a stunning, heartwarming children's book about a young boy named Giovanni. Giovanni's family always has Jamaican stewed chicken with rice and beans, or what Giovanni calls rice and rocks, every Sunday. But this time, Giovanni has friends coming over, and he is worried that his friends won't like it. Giovanni's auntie wants to show him that his friends will like the food, so the two shrink down, and climb onto the back of Giovanni's bird, Jasper. They visit the countries Giovanni's friends' families are from, and find out about many traditions in his friends' cultures that involve the same kind of food that Giovanni calls rice and rocks. Giovanni serves rice and rocks to his friends. Will they like it?
I really enjoyed reading Rice and Rocks by Sandra L. Richards. The book teaches the importance of traditions, family, and friendship. I liked that the characters are very diverse, and are from many different cultures. The book is full of adventure, and has some funny parts. The pictures, by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, are very well drawn, and help to depict each scene. The illustrations of Jasper and Auntie's dogs, Skye and Honey, are adorable. The characters are likeable, because they all understand or learn the importance of tradition. The book is relatable because many people are worried about what they're feeding their friends. Children will enjoy reading this book again and again. I would definitely recommend this book to all young readers.