Friday, May 31, 2019


Written by Drew Daywalt

Illustrated by Adam Rex

(Balzer + Bray, 2017)

The game Rock, Paper, Scissors has been my go-to to solve so many minor disagreements between kids. Who has first chance at the last swing on the playground? Who’s going to be goalie for soccer? Who gets the last cookie?

Rock, paper, scissors…


Kids like the randomness of it. Maybe I’ll be the victor, maybe I won’t. Whatever the result, they know they had a hand in it. Literally. No calls of “Not fair!” No pleas for best two out of three. The rules are all too clear: rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock. Brilliant—even if I’ve always wondered how a sheet of paper really beats a rock. (Wrapping it? Please.)

Drew Daywalt—he of mega-popular The Day the Crayons Quit—has teamed up with beloved illustrator Adam Rex (Pssst!;Tree Ring Circus) to bring an origin story of the Rock, Paper, Scissors game.

Yes, once upon a time in separate kingdoms, Rock, Paper and Scissors lived unsatisfying lives, doing battle with unworthy rivals. 

Rock vs. Clothespin.
Paper vs. Trail Mix Bits.
Scissors vs. Roll of Tape.

I always caution a young audience that the pictures post-battle are gruesome—a smooshed apricot (Egad!), severed bits of tape (Yikes!). 

These are hollow victories, indeed. Nothing to celebrate at all.

SPOILER ALERT: It took the coming together of Rock, Paper and Scissors to offer worthy challenges. Even defeat felt rewarding. The stakes of battle proved just right.

This is one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-it books. A simple concept, but told with kid-friendly humor. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors is a terrific read-aloud, one that will allow you to test your battle-ready dramatic delivery as these fierce warriors seek and find their respected competitors. Battle on!

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