Written and Illustrated by: Jennifer Sattler
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: August 2021
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: September 9, 2021
Vole is, well...a vole, and she is very particular about how she spends her day. But her closely scheduled time is about to be upended in the new children's book Rock and Vole.
Vole has a daily schedule that she keeps every single day. First she does some stretching, then exactly seven minutes of exercise. At snack time, she has one slice of bread, two pieces of cheese and exactly twelve raisins. Not eleven raisins, not thirteen, but twelve. And every day ends the same, with a nice, long sleep, but it has to be on the left side of the bed. Day in, day out, Vole keeps to her schedule.
One day, however, Vole decides she wants something different. But in typical Vole fashion, her "different" day is carefully planned out. She maps out her travel, and picks a spot exactly halfway on her trip to stop for her snack. When Vole sets out on her trip, she has her map and a backpack with her snack. It's going to be a fun day...until a rock gets in her way. And not just any rock, but a humongous, ginormous rock. Vole tries to reason with the rock to go somewhere else, but the rock just sits on the ground, not moving. Will Vole ever resolve her problem with the rock?
Rock and Vole is definitely a different children's book, with one of the two main characters never saying a word throughout the entire story. The rock "just sat there," as a rock will do, while Vole tried to reason with the inanimate object. Vole soon learns that just because she had a perfectly planned trip, sometimes unexpected things, or rocks, can get in the way. And Vole, and the reader, learn that sometimes very cool, neat, and unexpected things can happen when plans go haywire. We can't plan everything, all the time, and Vole learns this lesson from an stubborn, silent rock.
Quill says: Silly and fun, Rock and Vole is a charming story about a cute little vole who learns that not all things can be planned and sometimes, the best things that happen are, in fact, unplanned.