Looking for a wonderful picture book celebrating culture and diversity that your sons (and your daughters) will love? Rice & Rocks introduces us to the delightful young Giovanni, who is looking forward to another great Sunday of hanging out with his pet parrot Jasper and playing with his friends who are coming to dinner, until he learns that his grandmother is serving a traditional Jamaican meal what includes rice and beans, or “rice and rocks” as he calls them.
When he complains to his favorite Auntie that he is embarrassed to serve his friends rice and rocks, she takes him on a magical journey (aided by Jasper) to places around the globe where people enjoy rice and rocks as part of their traditional family meals. This journey takes them to Japan, Puerto Rico, and Louisiana, all along the way learning about the many different versions of rice and beans that people enjoy. When they return and Giovanni’s friends join them for dinner, he is delighted to discover that they all share the tradition of having rice and rocks with their family meals. This lovely and beautifully illustrated story reminds us that learning about our diverse cultures and sharing them can bring us all closer together.
Rice & Rocks is Sandra L. Richards’ first children’s book. Creating the magical world of Giovanni and Jasper would initially seem to be quite a departure from her daily work as the Executive Director and Head of Diverse and Multicultural Marketing, Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. But story telling comes very naturally to Sandra, especially this one, as it is based upon her nephew Giovanni, who passed away from leukemia when he was 8. By telling this story about Giovanni, a bright, funny and curious boy who really didn’t like “rice and rocks”, she could honor his memory and share an inspirational message about the importance of family traditions with us all. Bravo Sandra, and we are looking forward to hearing more great stories from you!
You can order Rice & Rocks here on amazon. Read it to your sons, and then share with them your stories of your favorite traditional family meals. If your family doesn’t have traditional meals of your own, time to create some. Let us know how it goes!