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Rice & Rocks

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.

Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and
Hardcover, 1, 32 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Wise Ink Creative Publishing
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Melissa (thereaderandthechef)
*This review can also be found on The Reader and the Chef. Thanks to Kate Tilton for the review copy in exchange of my honest opinion.*

Oh, you guys. I don't know if I've told you this but besides from YA books, I have a serious love for children's picture books. Maybe it's because they are the ones that helped me learn English quicker when I was in USA, or maybe because they are just too fun and incredible to look at, but either way, I really must tell you all how utterly amazing Rice & Rocks is
Bethany M. Edwards
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing

If you are one that shares a love for celebrating culture through food, “Rice and Rocks” is the perfect book for you.

This story follows a young boy named Giovanni who goes on a magical adventure around the globe with his Auntie and pet parrot. Thanks to my husband who is from the South (in America), I learned that "Sunday dinner" is a sacred tradition.

In this book, Giovanni and his grandmother are sharing a traditional Jamaican dish of rice and beans or “Rice and Rocks”. Like many children, Gio
Stacia | stacialovestoread
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*First of all, deepest, most sincere thanks to Kate Tilton’s Author Services and Wise Ink Publishing for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Rice and Rocks is a child’s look at tradition and embarrassment in front of friends. Giovanni is having friends over on Sunday for dinner. Coming from a Jamaican family, that means his grandmother will be serving rice and beans as the main dish, much to Giovanni’s disappointment.
After speaking with his Auntie, they go on a fanciful trip
Gayle Pace
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Children need these kinds of books to help them learn about cultures, how they are the same and different. It's a lesson for children to learn that even though we look different, live different, live in different areas, we all have some things that we have in common. We may like the same things. In this book it is beans and rice.This book is about a boy and his aunt who traveled and the child was so interested in the travels and what he was learning. He even had a pet. What that pet w
Kid Lit Reviews
This entry is a Perfect Picture Book Friday "review." It is just a bit different, and I hope you'll like it.
PPBF is sponsored by author Susanna Leonard Hill.

Opening: “I woke up feeling great! It was Sunday. No school. No itchy uniform. I could play my trumpet, read my Godzilla comics, draw another frog picture, and hang out with Jasper. What I loved most about Sundays was my whole family came to visit.”

Why I like this book:
~ I love how Giovanni worries about whether his friends will like the Jam
Inderpreet Uppal
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rice and Rocks is a smart, colourful and well-written book that makes it easy for us to explain the importance of our traditions and the need to follow them. Bright, detailed pictures, and easy to read text made it a breeze to read with my son. Giovanni is enjoying his holiday with his Congo African Grey Parrot, Jasper who is no ordinary parrot. When Giovanni is a bit miffed about the traditional Sunday meal his aunt and parrot step in to make him aware. He along with his aunt flies away on his ...more
M.M. Hudson
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This wonderful little picture book celebrates cultural differences and cultural sameness. What I like about it though, the boy in the story learns about his own culture and that of others by going to the places where his friends are from.

Children reading this book are sure to get the concept that sometimes, even though we may be different, sometimes we have very similar taste in things, as the case in this book for food.
I found it interesting that one of the cultures used the beans and rice as a
Lynda Dickson
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 3+
Shelves: children
Giovanni isn't impressed when his Grandma decides to cook rice and beans for his friends' visit. In fact, he calls the dish "rice and rocks", finding the beans inedible. Auntie thinks Giovanni needs a bit of a reality check and, with the help of Jasper the talking parrot, they take a magical trip to Japan, Puerto Rico, and New Orleans. They meet some helpful birds who tell them that rice and beans are traditional family meals in all of those places. After a bit of reflection, Giovanni gains prid ...more
Tina at Mommynificent
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is just fabulous! I was completely intrigued upon reading the description when I was invited to be a part of this blog tour, and the book turned out to be even better than I expected! This was an absolutely perfect way to wrap up our year of learning about Children Around the World!

I love how this book deals with the emotions that come with one’s national heritage and traditions – sometimes pride and sometimes embarrassment – and how the auntie in the story gently helps her nephew to m
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book for the precious lesson in it that we may be different yet similar and special in many ways. The language is simple and so are the illustrations. I would definitely recommend this book to all parents, teachers and librarians.
You can read my detailed review on my blog here >>
Rice & Rocks: A Celebration of Culinary Diversity
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, but he’s not very excited. His grandma is making Jamaican stewed chicken with rice and beans, which Giovanni calls rice and rocks, and he’s worried that his friends won’t like the traditional dish. With the help of his Congo African grey parrot, Jasper, and his auntie, Giovanni travels around the world and is surprised to discover that many other cultures have special dishes that include rice and beans. If rice and beans is such a common dish ...more
Penny Minding Mom
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Our little island is becoming more and more diverse. Each year there is a multi-cultural street fair where we celebrate the different cultures that are present on our island. It’s an amazing time where the kids can explore foods, activities, games, art and crafts, displays, music and performances. “Rice and Rocks” is a celebration of different cultures coming together around the dinner table.

“Rice and Rocks” is a the story of a young boy named Giovanni who goes on a magical adventure around the
Baby Bookworm
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Rice & Rocks, written by Sandra L. Richards and illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, a fantastic story about how food can bring cultures together.

Giovanni is looking forward to having his friends over for his family’s Sunday dinner, but is dismayed whe
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Giovanni is a boy of Jamaican heritage and they are planning on a Sunday dinner, with his grandmother doing the cooking. When he asks about the menu, Auntie tells him that they are having “rocks and rice,” which is rice and beans. It is a meal that is an old family tradition.
Giovanni is upset because his three friends Emily, Gabby and Aaron are coming over for the dinner. Emily’s family is from Puerto Rico, Gabby’s is from New Orleans and Aaron’s is from Japan. Giovanni thinks that such a meal
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Book Review
Title: Rice & Rocks

Author: Sandra L. Richards

Genre: Childrens/Picture Book

Rating: *****

Review: I loved this book, it is all about emboding family, friendship and tradition. This is Giovanni's story about learning to accept and embrace his family hertiage and related tradition with some help from his magic pet parrot; Jasper. I loved the premise of this book and how multi-cultural this book was with characters from Jamaica and Japan as well as many other locations.
I also loved the illu
Kat Kennedy
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book about family, tradition and learning an important life lesson -- we have more in common than we think. When Giovanni is less than pleased that his Sunday dinner will be rice and beans, we learn from Jasper, his exceptional Congo African grey parrot, that Giovanni calls the dish “rice and rocks.” Part of his displeasure comes from the fact that his friends are visiting this Sunday, and he is afraid of being embarrassed by the humble of ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was provided an advanced copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Rice & Rocks is a must-read story for all young children looking to embrace and understand their cultural traditions, their sense of who they are and where they come from, and interested in learning about the diversity of cultures in our society. The main character Giovanni is a relatable, inquisitive and typical little boy trying to figure out that something h
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.

I had the pleasure to read and review Rice and Rocks by Sandra L. Richards. I loved the plot of the story, and how it teaches that the same dish is cooked and called many different things across various cultures. My eight-year-old, fell in love with the plot, while my five-year-old fell in love with the colorful illustrations.

This gentle, yet powerful story, focuses on the importance of culture in the most e
Brandi Perry
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautifully written and illustrated children's books I've ever read. Sandra Richards does an incredible job on conveying the fact that we have to hold close to family traditions and that we are so much alike and that we should try to remember that more. The main character, Giovanni, is not happy about having rice and beans, or ride and rocks as he calls them. He's afraid that with his friends coming to visit for Sunday lunch that then are not going to like the food. His a ...more
Lexi Clark
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book a rating of 5 stars because this was actually a very good book. I really liked this book because talks about people from different parts of the world and what they eat. Giovanni is worried that his "rice and rocks" won't be enough for his friends and that they will think it is weird. This book teaches that people come from different backgrounds with different "traditional" foods. It teaches students that it is ok to be different and you don't have to be ashamed from where you co ...more
ZaraS  *book reviewer
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: archive-2017
This author is new to me, the book is her debut and it doesn’t disappoint. My first impression of the book was that it was a good sized hardback (perfect for frequent use) with a very appealing cover (the artwork is lovely in its detail) and the artwork detail is maintained throughout the book. This detail adds to the text within the book and really draws in the reader. Until I read this book I had never heard about a dish called rice and rocks (rice and beans).

The story is about a young boy cal
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
From beginning to end, Rice & Rocks, is an inventive, good-natured, fun tale about a boy, named Giovanni and his “not-so normal” parrot, Jasper. Both go on a surprise adventure to discover similarities between his Jamaican family’s food traditions and other cultures. The illustrations magically depict the characters, their emotions, and the unexpected world of traveling. This is an ideal book for young children to learn about the importance of family traditions and diversity. It’s also a book th ...more
Geetanjali Mukherjee
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

I haven't read a children's book in at least a decade, but something about this book made me want to read it. From the book description: "Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird."

Not only is it beautifully illustrated, "Rice and Rocks"
Erin Buhr
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Giovanni loves Sundays but this Sunday his friends are joining his family for dinner and he's worried what they will think about his grandma's Jamaican rice and beans. His auntie, a magic bird, and a flight around the world show him that rice and beans aren't that uncommon after all. Kids that are starting to notice the differences between their family traditions and those of their friends will identify with Giovanni's emotions and struggles. I love how this book focuses not just on what makes u ...more
Erica Gronowski
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also high ...more
Taya Bower
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Giovanni does not like the traditional Jamaican food rice and rocks and he is afraid that when his friends come over they will not like them either. Giovanni begins to worry that his friends will make fun of his family's tradition and heritage but his aunt comes in and saves the day. Together they travel the world to different cultures and Giovanni becomes proud of his traditions of rice and rocks.

This book is a great portrayal of Jamaican history and how support who you are is important. Richar
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so cute! I love how the story follows Giovanni's journey in learning about how the tradition of eating rice and beans together is so important. It also shows how other cultures engage in that tradition too. Rice and Rocks is a perfect classroom read!
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I would like to thank Bostick Communications and the author for giving me the opportunity to read Rice & Rocks. This is my honest opinion of the book.

Rice & Rocks is a charming story about a young boy named Giovanni, who is embarrassed that the traditional Jamaican dish to be served for Sunday dinner may be considered weird by his friends. Through the help of his aunt and the special parrot that she bought for him, Giovanni soon discovers that rice and beans is a celebratory dish in many culture
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful story.

See my review on my blog.
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Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rock, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. Sandra, an American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

Sandra is a

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