The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors – Perfect Picture Book Friday

As we prepare to do battle in the name of science on Earth Day tomorrow, I thought I’d put the spotlight on the legendary battles being played across the country, the ones happening in school yards, classrooms, and perhaps during dinner when children are challenged to eat their vegetables, no matter how odious.  

Picture book writers, you are about to be schooled in voice by Drew Daywalt.

“Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named ROCK. Rock was the strongest in all the land, but he was sad because no one could give him a worthy challenge.”

And so poor rock battles an assortment of unworthy opponents, including a clothespin and an apricot from grandma’s tree in the back yard. But he finds no joy in his easily won victories.


in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, on lonely and windswept Desk Mountain, a second great warrior sought the glory of battle. And his name was Paper.”

So paper fights his own battles with other unworthy opponents, including the printer and a half-eaten package of trail mix in the garbage can. Alas, heavy-hearted Paper must journey to distant lands to find a warrior who is his equal. 

“At the same time….

in the Kitchen Realm, in the tiny village of Junk Drawer, there lived a third great warrior. They called her SCISSORS, and she was the fastest blade in all the land. She, too, was unchallenged. On this day, her first opponent was a strange and sticky circle-man.” 

Yes, you guessed it, a tape dispenser. Victorious, she turns her attention to an unruly group of breaded dinosaurs in the refrigerator. The results aren’t pretty. Scissors, too, must journey beyond her realm to find a challenging opponent.

And so these three great warriors are destined to meet. 

Ingenious. Laugh out loud funny. A marvelously illustrated and engaging read aloud. I predict this book will never go out of print. Ever.

For those of you who would like to know a little more about the history of “Rochambeau,” you may turn to the following resources:

Is Rochambeau named after the French army general who served during the American Revolution?

Rock-Paper-Scissors (history and mathematical analysis)

Title: The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

Author: Drew Daywalt

Illustrator: Adam Rex

Publisher: Balzer & Bray (Harper Collins) 

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

Target Age group: Anyone who’s ever played Rock Paper Scissors (Rochambeau)

20 thoughts on “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors – Perfect Picture Book Friday

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Yes, I think it’s going to be another bestseller for Drew Daywalt. And the illustrator, Adam Rex, took on this challenge brilliantly as well. When you get to the point of seeing how rock, paper, and scissors “beat” their challengers and then are “beaten” in turn, it’s quite well done.

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a clever idea for a book! Makes me wish I still had kids little enough to read to. Guess when I’m a grandma down the road the time will come again. (Hopefully well down the road…)

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      I’m a 7-year-old at heart, so I’ve always got my antennae set on “seek.” It’s also part of my job to know what my competition looks like. Gives me goals to shoot for. Some day…..

      • Margarita says:

        Ah, yes…my daughter keeps reminding me she’s a 5-year-old at heart! They’re not competition, Jilanne, because no one can express as you do. That said, it’s good to know what the other kids are up to! 😉 xoxoM

  2. Sue Morris @ KidLitReviews says:

    I want to read this book. Such a good idea for a humorous picture book. Who hasn;t played this to choose sides or settle an argument. Great review. Told the stories of three mighty warriors–need to know what happens when they meet.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann says:

      Funny thing was, when the story got to the windswept Desk Mountain in the Realm of Mom’s Home Office, I laughed. So much paper in my home office, that it’s clear paper is winning. I just sent a copy to my niece for her birthday. They used it as a read aloud for the birthday party with much success!

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