32 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55037-750-7
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Carol L. MacKay

Carol L. MacKay is a children’s librarian living in Bawlf, Alberta.


Roxanne is always bumping into things, tripping over her own feet,
ending up bruised, battered, and stub-toed. So, when the clumsy girl
takes a fateful stumble over the edge of the playground into the magic
forest, she unwittingly makes a wish that changes everything. Tired of
injuring herself, she wishes she were made of stone. Roxanne, or
“Rocksy” as she becomes known, initially enjoys the strange
transformation, but gradually comes to experience the downside of living
life as a walking, talking cement block.

If it sounds silly, it is. Loris Lesynski, Canada’s queen of rhyming
fiction, is in fine form here. With her usual attention to rhythm and
wordplay, Lesynski creates a story poem that never suffers from “tired
rhyme syndrome.” Her illustrations are equally engaging, complementing
the action of the story and, at times, offering additional information
in the form of maps and diagrams to clarify the order of events. Her
characters are drawn simply but expressively. The story’s fairytale
style is heightened by the incorporation of medieval touches into the
characters’ costumes and the settings, even though many of the
illustrations also contain contemporary items such as baseballs, soccer
balls, shampoo, and bicycles. This mix of old and new draws readers into
a world of fantasy, and at the same time, enables children of today to
relate to Roxanne’s difficulties.

Rocksy is a well-crafted picture book, suitable for silent reading but
especially effective for dramatic read-alouds. A particularly good
choice for library storytimes. Highly recommended.


Lesynski, Loris., “Rocksy,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,