Brian Rock has enjoyed writing stories since he was old enough to hold a no. 2 pencil. Although he was once put out of class for writing too many stories, he went on to receive a master’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature from Hollins University. Brian has four picture books to his credit (so far) and has taught creative writing classes to aspiring young authors in the Richmond, VA area. He has also shared writing advice as a featured speaker at SCBWI conferences. Along the way, Brian has performed as a stand-up comic, worked as a “McCountant,” served as a teacher of “at risk” kids, and written award-winning Country songs with his band, Family Reunion.
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Posts by Brian Rock:
November 20th, 2013
Book Review: Sophie’s Squash By Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated By Anne Wilsdorf
Sophie’s parents take her to a farmers’ market to pick some food for dinner.
But on the way home, Sophie discovers that her squash is the perfect size for holding, and hugging, and rocking to sleep. After a quick [...]
October 10th, 2013
Book Review: Joe And Sparky Go To School By Jamie Michalak, Illustrated By Frank Remkiewicz
Dynamic duo, Joe and Sparky are off on another fun adventure!
Ever cautious Sparky the turtle finds himself unexpectedly on the roof of a bus headed for someplace called “school.” His adventurous giraffe buddy, [...]
September 5th, 2013
Book Review: Rufus Goes To School By Kim Griswell, Illustrated By Valeri Gorbachev
Rufus Leroy Williams III has a favorite book.
He loves to hold the book. He loves to look at the pictures. He loves to turn the pages. The only problem is, Rufus doesn’t know how to read the book. So Rufus decides [...]
August 2nd, 2013
Book Review: Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Get ready to count monkeys.
We’ll start off on the very first page with one – cobra? That can’t be right, where are the monkeys? Apparently the slithery serpent has frightened them off. But how do we get rid of [...]
July 17th, 2013
Book Review: Brush Of The Gods By Lenore Look, Illustrated By Meilo So
Wu Daozi is being taught the high art of calligraphy by the monks of Chang’an, China.
The monks explain to him that, “Calligraphy is the highest of the arts,” and that, “it reveals your character.”
But try [...]
June 26th, 2013
Book Review: Ol’ Mama Squirrel By David Ezra Stein
Ol’ Mama Squirrel warns her young ones, “There’s no shortage of creatures that would love to snack on a baby squirrel.”
But she then reassures them that “It won’t happen on my watch!” And Ol’ Mama Squirrel [...]
May 24th, 2013
Book Review: On A Beam Of Light By Jennifer Berne, Illustrated By Vladimir Radunsky
A long time ago a baby named Albert was born.
He didn’t talk much as a baby. He didn’t talk much as a toddler. He didn’t talk much as a child. But with his big, curious eyes he looked at the world around him and [...]
April 18th, 2013
Book Review: “Ribbit!” By Rodrigo Folgueira, Illustrated By Poly Bernatene
A group of frogs hears a familiar sound coming from a very unfamiliar source in their pond. Who is this pink intruder? Does this pig think he’s a frog? Is he mocking us? How dare he imitate us! What does [...]
April 4th, 2013
Book Review: The Highway Rat By Julia Donaldson, Illus. By Axel Scheffler
Hide your goodies!
The Highway Rat is lying in wait for your delicious snacks and treats.
Although he prefers pastries and chocolate and cake, he’ll take anything you have. For as he says, “I am the Rat of the Highway [...]
March 18th, 2013
Book Review: The Granddaughter Necklace By Sharon Dennis Wyeth, Illus. By Bargram Ibatoulline
Sharon spies a necklace of sparkling crystals on her mother’s neck as she is being tucked in for bedtime.
She asks her mother where she got the necklace. “The necklace belonged to your grandma and the other grandmas [...]
March 1st, 2013
Book Review: Exclamation Mark By Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
In a world of periods, exclamation mark really stood out.
And he didn’t like it one bit. He felt confused and befuddled. He didn’t fit in and he wasn’t sure how he could. Then one day he found the answers he sought [...]
February 13th, 2013
Book Review: Lemonade In Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money By Emily Jenkins, Illus. By G. Brian Karas
A story of teamwork, persistence and creativity.
On a cold, winter day when a mean wind blows and icicles hang from the windowsills, little Pauline looks out the window and has an idea. “Let’s have a lemonade stand!” [...]
January 16th, 2013
Book Review: A Flower In The Snow by Tracey Corderoy
Luna and her best friend (polar) Bear belong together like peanut butter and jelly.
They do everything together. They skate, and play and laugh. Luna’s smile sparkles like the snow. Then one day Bear picks a sunshine-yellow [...]
January 8th, 2013
New Year’s Inspiration For Aspiring Writers
As I read a lot of quick-fix New Year’s Resolution articles, I’m struck by how generic and often glib they seem.
As a writer, I try to re-energize and refocus on goals just like anyone else, but instead of [...]
December 27th, 2012
Book Review: Snowmen At Work By Carolyn Buehner, Illustrated By Mark Buehner
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Snowmen At Work is the latest in the “snowmen” series by husband and wife team Carolyn and Mark Buehner. In this installment, a boy builds a snowman, then goes inside for the [...]
December 17th, 2012
Kids Book Matters: Best Picture Books of 2012
Best Picture Books of 2012
2012 was a great year for picture books. There were some familiar faces, some new voices, and of course lots of brilliant artwork (I’d especially like to point out the heartwarming illustrations [...]
December 11th, 2012
Kid’s Book Matters: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Celebrating at the Carle:
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA is currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Officially kicked off last month, the festivities will continue through November 2013. Among [...]
December 5th, 2012
Book Review: Boot & Shoe By Marla Frazee
Boot & Shoe are puppies from the same litter.
They are adopted into the same home. They share many things together. The only thing they don’t share is their special, personal territory. Shoe is a front porch kind [...]
December 4th, 2012
Book Review: The Duckling Gets A Cookie!? By Mo Willems
The latest in Mo Willems’ classic “Pigeon” series of books, The Duckling Gets A Cookie, holds its own with its award winning predecessors.
In this installment, the irascible Pigeon bemoans the injustice of Duckling [...]