PPBF: Rock What Ya Got

Happy PPBF; did you celebrate Global Character Day this week?
I was invited to speak at a breakfast for administrative leaders
at Harmony Schools in Houston; afterward I got a student-led tour
of their School of Innovation from some middle-school friends
who were oozing with PRIDE with their every step. 

Not only was their mission in the halls and on the walls,

making their vision visible and their purpose palpable,

but I could feel it in their hearts as I watched them walk the talk.

It was an incredible day, one I won't soon forget.
I loved watching these superheroes rock what they've got!
To match that incredibleness, check out today's PPBF pick.

Title: Rock What Ya Got
Written by: Samantha Berger
Illustrated by: 
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Birth Date: September 25, 2018
Suitable for ages: 4-7
Themes: growth mindset, empathy, empowerment
Brief synopsis: An artist sketches Viva on her blank canvas, but when the little drawing's very existence is threatened by the pencil's eraser, she jumps off the page to protest the change.
Opening page: Once upon a blank piece of paper, 
where anything could happen ...  


Enjoy these 2nd-grade students' reactions in this read aloud.

Check out a Kirkus review {here}.

Share with your learners whom you admire
for rockin' what they got, like author Samantha Berger did.

Then, ask them what they rock and encourage them to illustrate it,
like first-grade Connecticut teacher Ann Gargula did.

On the back or on a separate sheet, invite them to write and draw what a teacher, friend, or family member rocks.
Doesn't it feel so much better to focus on strengths (what we got!)
instead of on our areas for growth (what is not.)?

Why I like this book: It's absolutely adorable.

The cover hooked me; page by page reeled me in and left me cheering for Viva, with every addition, every adaptation, every change. As she confidently pleads her case, to appreciate her and love who she is instead of trying to change her, her spunk and sass endeared me to her and made me want to join her crusade.

The illustrations are colorfully joyful, especially on the pages that the young artist imagines what she could do to make Viva better.

Your younger readers will want to chime in
and chant along with Viva's repetitive refrain:
Rock what ya got and rock it a lot.
Your older readers will likely connect with the creative twist at the end, 
when we find out what the artist herself almost forgot.

{You'll have to turn the page yourself, to find out what that surprise ending is.}

Check out this newcomer, then get yourself a sketchbook or whatever it takes, 
let your imagination go wild, and Rock What Ya Got.

After you order yourself a copy of this gem,
head on over to Susanna Hill's blog 
to check out today's other PPBF recommendations.


  1. Oo, you have already seen Sam's latest. I am a little jealous. I have LOVED all her inspirational publicity leading up to its release and I just know it will lift us all up! And isn't that opening inviting?

  2. I've got to get this one! Love Samantha Berger's work! The San Francisco Public Library has 6 on order. Hope to read it soon!

  3. SOLD! My great niece will love this book. I loved listening to your voice and how you interact with students. I am a fan of Berger's books, and this on is very special! Happy Character Week. Enjoyed the photos you shared.

  4. I like that this is a story about owning WHO you are and then rocking what you got. Great review. Thanks.

  5. oooh! another book to find and read - and I love that you describe it as interactive (like - pick up a journal and get rockin')


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!