WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK
Written by Terri Branson
Illustrated by Chet Taylor
Children’s Picture Book (24 pages)
Rated G for ages 2-7 [©2015]
Published on the Kittycat Books
label of Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.
On the road to the farm, a six-year-old’s imagination is stirred by his grandfather’s tall tales of an ancient Native American warrior called Falling Rock. Once at the farm, the boy thinks he sees Falling Rock everywhere, from the pasture to the pond and more. Is it just his imagination or is he really seeing the ghost of Falling Rock?
“I appreciated the creativity in the book, and mostly that it highlights the imagination of a child who sees things when the adults don’t…” [See below for full review text]
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Growing up in rural Oklahoma in the 60s and 70s, I had the privilege to spend time on the farm with my great-grandparents. Granddad was a never ending fountain of tall tales and mischief. One of his favorite pranks was to tell us to “watch out for Falling Rock” every time we passed one of those yellow highway signs. Then he would spin elaborate tales of the deeds of this mythical Native American warrior. Since all of the generations were some mix of Cherokee and Scottish, Granddad’s version of Falling Rock was a heroic warrior who defended his land. I remember well the wide-eyed looks on the faces of my cousins and my brother, as Granddad steered that creaky old Chevy truck around potholes and curves, all the while telling everyone to keep an eye out for any stray rocks or arrows. As indicated, he was a bit mischievous. I dedicate this book to my dad (who endured the tales first) and my brother (who may have loved them most).
“Terri Branson’s WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK is a heart warming book about a grandfather and his grandson bonding through a magical story told by the grandfather. As the trip continues and the story of Falling Rock unfolds, the boy’s imagination takes over. He is inspired by the tale his grandfather spins. But, is it a tale or a true story? Whichever the case may be, the grandson and grandfather have shared a memorable trip to the family farm. The illustrations by Chet Taylor are bright and colorful filled with animation.” ~ reviewed by Roberta Hoffer [FIVE STARS]
“WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK by Terri Branson is a children’s book about a Native American warrior. According to legend, Falling Rock, the great warrior, could never be captured in battle and now, many years later, Falling Rock haunts Oklahoma. Falling Rock also seems to haunt young Butch, who sees Falling Rock wherever he goes — outside his window, at his grandparents’ house, in the yard, and at the pond. Falling Rock also causes some mischief with a spider’s web in the garden, and Butch does have to reprimand him a few times for his antics. The whole time Butch’s grandparents do not believe that Falling Rock is causing trouble, but Butch not only sees Falling Rock all day, he also hears the chanting and the drums as he falls asleep at night. WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK illustrations go along with nearly every scene, and Falling Rock is depicted as the colorful and cartoonish troublemaker that he is. I appreciated the creativity in the book, and mostly that it highlights the imagination of a child who sees things when the adults don’t. For this reason, I feel the book will appeal to children who understand that sometimes special things are for them only, and adults might not understand or see things the way they do. Author Terri Branson taps into the best part of being a child and seems to understand that a child can occasionally follow a story in their own minds, carrying a character with them through their daily routines. I recommend this book to children of reading age and feel it would be a nice addition to any children’s library.” ~ reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers’ Favorite [FIVE STARS]
“Is Falling Rock real? Butch’s granddad says yes, that he was once a Native American warrior who roamed the very land that Granddad now farms. For sure, he pops up all over the farm, wherever Butch goes, sometimes playing tricks, sometimes helping him. Watch For Falling Rock is a fast-paced, imaginative story, full of colorful images and a spark of authenticity that is sure to please young readers who enjoy stories of our country’s long-ago past.” ~ reviewed by Paula Blais Gorgas [FIVE STARS]
“Delightfully written for parents and young readers 2-7 years of age, WATCH FOR FALLING ROCK is a great multi-cultural story featuring a mischievous (perhaps ghost, perhaps imaginary, perhaps mythic) Indian brave and a young boy whose grandfather is fond of telling stories. Beautifully and imaginatively illustrated, the book is an eye catcher that will capture the imaginations of all children, whether they read it themselves or their parents read it to them. Highly recommended.” ~ reviewed by Pat Kelley [FIVE STARS]
“Is 6-year-old Butch seeing the real ghost of Falling Rock on his grandparent’s farm? Or do his grandfather’s tall tales simply spark his imagination? Beautiful illustrations by Chet Taylor complete this well-told tale of one boy’s weekend visit to his grandparent’s farm that brings him a new and mischievous friend, who may or may not be a ghost. This is definitely a 5-star read that small children will demand to read over and over.” ~ reviewed by Amber Sparks for Roserock Reviews [FIVE STARS]
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