The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

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Annotation: Humorous picture book purports to tell the "true" story of how the classic game came to be.
Catalog Number: #140374
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Rex, Adam,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-243889-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97571-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-243889-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97571-2
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Long ago,
Publishers Weekly
Rock is the invincible champion of the Kingdom of Backyard, but winning comes too easily. -Smooshing you has brought me no joy,- he tells a flattened apricot. Meanwhile, two other hardcore competitors are having similar crises: Paper has vanquished all comers in the Empire of Mom-s Home Office (-Taste my fury, giant box-monster!- says Paper before jamming the computer printer), while Scissors is the undisputed victor of the Kitchen Realm. Their yearning for worthy opponents is finally answered by a meet-up in the garage. After three exhilarating rounds, they realize that their epic battles can go on forever: -Finally, they had each met their matches.- This exuberant collaboration between Daywalt (The Day the Crayons Quit) and Rex (How This Book Was Made) is similarly felicitous. Daywalt-s text, set in a range of expressive fonts, combines the heightened verbosity of vintage action comics with the swagger of backyard scuffles (-I hope you-re wearing your battle pants, rock warrior,- warns Scissors), and Rex composes wildly dramatic battle scenes against backdrops of thunderstorms, erupting volcanoes, and missile launches. Forget reading aloud-this story demands bombastic, full-volume performances. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Peer through the mists and learn the origin of the game that has resolved playground disputes beyond number."Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named Rock." Rock travels far and wide searching for an adversary that might best him. The clothespin fails in battle, and the tangy sweetness of the apricot is easily squashed. Meanwhile, in the Empire of Mom's Home Office and the Kitchen Realm, respectively, Paper and Scissors set out on similar quests. Each trounces every foe. The likes of Computer Printer cannot stand against Paper (paper jam!). And the Dinosaur-Shaped Chicken Nuggets are snipped into submission by Scissors. Then Rock meets Scissors and thrashes her. She is pleased, but Rock feels he might never find his challenger until Paper arrives, uttering the fighting words "Hi there." The rest is history. Daywalt's silly tale unfolds in hilariously overblown text that is further melodramatized with ample and emphatic use of various display types. It is deliciously illustrated in true Rex style with wackily anthropomorphic inanimate objects and action-packed scenes. Rock is particularly funny, depicted as a small, Easter Island-type boulder with an outsized personality. Cheeky humor and prideful asides will have listeners in stitches. A closer-to-perfect pairing couldn't be imagined. Everyone wins! (Picture book. 4-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It's a game played on playgrounds everywhere, but does anyone truly know the story of Rock-Paper-Scissors? Daywalt and Rex's riotous take on the majestic history of the game reveals the origin of three mighty warriors. First up is Rock, who takes on first a clothespin holding up a pair of underpants and then a scowling apricot on Grandma's favorite tree, but those victories are too easy. Meanwhile, Paper longs for someone to outwit him, but the printer and a half-eaten bag of trail mix are no match. Scissors faces off with a tape dispenser before scaling the fridge to conquer some dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, but she, too, cannot be beaten. They finally converge in the garage, though the conclusion is a bit surprising: "This is the best day of my life! Thank you for winning, O great knight of Paper!" Rock exclaims. Happily, each of the three can now feel the joy of losing, and the rest is history. Daywalt's over-the-top words are uproariously carried out in Rex's lush artwork e expansive cast of inanimate objects are rendered with realistic depth and naturalistic colors, but their hammy, expressive faces and grandiose declarations catapult them to cartoonish heights. The earnest gravity of the fighters' quests paired with the mundane setting and melodramatic tone are perfectly balanced to produce a brand of purely absurd, sidesplitting humor that kids will gobble up. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Daywalt and Rex each have individual accolades to spare. They might be unbeatable as a team.
Word Count: 848
Reading Level: 3.9
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 189198 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.2 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q71169
Lexile: AD670L
Guided Reading Level: T

New York Times Bestseller! 5 Starred Reviews!

"Will have listeners in stitches." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Purely absurd, sidesplitting humor." —Booklist (starred review)

"Demands bombastic, full-volume performances." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Perfect for a guffawing share with younger sibs or buddy read." —BCCB (starred review)

"The sort of story that makes children love to read." —School Library Journal (starred review)

From acclaimed, bestselling creators Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home, and Adam Rex, author-illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, comes a laugh-out-loud hilarious picture book about the epic tale of the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors.

"I couldn’t stop laughing while reading this aloud to a group of kids," commented the founder of, Kari Ness Riedel.

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