The Legend of Rock, Paper Scissors

posted in: Adam Rex, Drew Daywalt | 2

It’s widely believed that Ring a Ring a Rosie had its origins in the bubonic plague, Goosey Goosey Gander was originally about religious persecution and other much loved and sung nursery rhymes may have started life commenting upon instruments of torture (Mary Mary Quite Contrary) or Viking invasions (London Bridge is falling down). But what about the stories behind favourite playground games? Could it be that they have equally dark origins?

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors, written by Drew Daywalt (@DrewDaywalt) and illustrated by Adam Rex (@MrAdamRex) is a glorious creation myth for one much loved childhood pastime and I, for one, am convinced it tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors reveals the secret, bombastic, explosive history behind this game as we learn about the first time these three incredible characters encountered each other and just what they were looking for when they did so.

Daywalt’s storytelling is second to none, bursting with energy, humour and brilliance. This is one book to let rip with, to enjoy the freedom of being over-the-top and off-the-wall with, a book to relish being silly with. Sizzlingly dynamic, cinematic illustrations only enhance the liveliness of the of the text, bringing to mind battling superheroes or deadly foes in the greatest Western of all time. Anyone with an ounce of playfulness in them will relish the ridiculousness, the wackiness, the brazenness of it all.

A book to bring on bellyache from laughter and many, many requests for repeat readings, The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors also sneaks in an interesting message about whether winning a scrap ultimately makes anyone feel any better, and this little philosophical question adds a satisfying edge to the book’s magnificent flamboyance.

Epic, awesome and extremely entertaining, reading out loud doesn’t get much more fun than this. Very highly recommended!

Inspired by the #ReadOutLoudChallenge, an initiative with the goal of setting up 100 school libraries in the Philippines, my kids and I set about doing what this book really begs for – a reading with gusto. My girls were the directors and camera crew, as well as the prop-makers and some of the voice-over artists in what turned out to be an utterly bonkers version of this terrific book. If you thought I was nuts and that didn’t bother you, this video will probably make you smile. If you feel a little uneasy when people go a bit loopy you might want to look away now…

I DO have a serious side but as you can see, it was well hidden in that video!

Here’s the official (US) book trailer which will give you another flavour of the book:

Alongside laughing a lot with this book you could enjoy these songs (there are surprisingly many good songs about Rock, Paper Scissors!):

  • Rock, Paper, Scissors by Jelly of the Month Club
  • Rock! Paper! Scissors! by Jam Toast
  • Rock Paper Scissors by Sonshine and Broccoli
  • Rock Paper Scissors by Dean Jones
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors by The Not-Its!

    If you wanted to do a Rock Paper Scissors dance (how cool to do this in PE or an assembly at school, no?) the Not Its have a video tutorial that could help…

  • And just because I love this band: Rock – Paper – Scissors by Katzenjammer

  • The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors has been a surprisingly big hit with my 12 year old and off the back of that we discovered a couple of interesting links that could be used with older kids and a reading of this fabulous picture book: Rock, paper scissors and the fierce world of Japanese pop and Building a Rock Paper Scissors game in Code Academy.

    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by its publisher, Harper Collins.

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