Blizzard

Blizzard

by John Rocco
     
 

Blizzard is based on John Rocco's childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy's excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the

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Overview

Blizzard is based on John Rocco's childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy's excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood's immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy's expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.

Praise for Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom

"With a light, humorous touch, Rocco reveals that sometimes the Kryptonite is all in your head."
--Publishers Weekly"

Bold, colorful pen-and-ink illustrations burst with power from each spread in comic-book style. This story will make a feel-good impression on budding comic book/superhero fans."
--School Library Journal

Praise for Blackout"

The plot line, conveyed with just a few sentences, is simple enough, but the dramatic illustrations illuminate the story...Not all young readers will have experienced a blackout, but this engaging snapshot could easily have them wishing for one."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"

The colorful pictures work beautifully with the book's design. Rocco uses comic-strip panels and a brief text to convey the atmosphere of a lively and almost magical urban landscape. Great bedtime reading for a soft summer night."
--School Library Journal (starred review)

2012 Caldecott Honor Book
New York Times Notable Book
Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year
Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

Praise for Fu Finds the Way

"Rocco's story flows smoothly and his illustrations are rich and appealing..."
--Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Maria Russo
…a wonderful story of everyday adventure, with a strong 1970s vibe…
Publishers Weekly
09/01/2014
Caldecott Honoree Rocco (Blackout) recalls a journey he took as a boy during the blizzard of 1978, when he lived in a small Rhode Island town. His deft compositions use expanses of white page to convey snowdrifts and winter sky. The snow is so deep that the front door won’t open, and John and his sister have to leave through the window. In another couple of days, when food supplies dwindle, “I realized it was up to me to take action.... I was the only one who knew what equipment was required.” Making snowshoes out of tennis rackets, young John sets off for the grocery store. An epic gatefold spread shows his path through the neighborhood, with distractions duly noted (“Made an angel”; “Joined a snowball fight”). The store owners greet him kindly, and he drags his grocery-laden sled home in triumph, distributing food to his neighbors and providing for his family. A nostalgic air of Americana permeates the story, and John’s eagerness to be a hero and his display of Yankee ingenuity offer plenty of satisfaction. Ages 3–5. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR FU FINDS THE WAY"

Rocco's story flows smoothly and his illustrations are rich and appealing..."—-Kirkus Reviews

PRAISE FOR SUPER HAIR-O AND THE BARBER OF DOOM"

With a light, humorous touch, Rocco reveals that sometimes the Kryptonite is all in your head."—-Publishers Weekly

PRAISE FOR SUPER HAIR-O AND THE BARBER OF DOOM"

Bold, colorful pen-and-ink illustrations burst with power from each spread in comic-book style. This story will make a feel-good impression on budding comic book/superhero fans."—-School Library Journal

PRAISE FOR BLACKOUT"

The plot line, conveyed with just a few sentences, is simple enough, but the dramatic illustrations illuminate the story...Not all young readers will have experienced a blackout, but this engaging snapshot could easily have them wishing for one."—-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

PRAISE FOR BLACKOUT"

The colorful pictures work beautifully with the book's design. Rocco uses comic-strip panels and a brief text to convey the atmosphere of a lively and almost magical urban landscape. Great bedtime reading for a soft summer night."—-School Library Journal (starred review)

PRAISE FOR BLACKOUT

2012 Caldecott Honor Book
New York Times Notable Book
Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year
Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year—-

School Library Journal
10/01/2014
K-Gr 2—Recounting a story from his childhood, Rocco sets this picture book during the "Blizzard of '78." At first, young John is ecstatic about the snow; he gets to stay home from school and play outside all day. But as the snow continues to pile up and the food in his house starts to run out, he and his family start to worry. Since he is the only one light enough to walk on top of the snow, he ties tennis rackets to his feet and sets out, walking to the nearest store, comically stopping along the way to help neighbors or to play. He then returns home with groceries for his family and neighbors; soon after the snowplows finally arrive, returning life back to normal. The simple text will be easily accessible to a young audience, and children will enjoy the message that even kids can be heroes in a time of a crisis. Rocco's artwork is as stellar as always; paint-splattered snow give an extra layer of detail to Rocco's already vividly textured backgrounds. The white negative space around some of his images effectively portrays the vastness of the snowstorm in a minimalist way, and the warm, cozy interiors are a lovely contrast. Great for storytime on a cold night.—Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-07-22
Young readers will be tickled by a young boy's resourcefulness in this story of how he and his family survive a monumental blizzard. The first flake falls on Monday while the young narrator is at school, and by the time he and his sister make it home after being dismissed early, the snow is over their boots. On Tuesday, the family's door won't open, and the kids climb out the window to play outside (though it's too deep for sledding and even walking). Wednesday, Dad shovels, but the snowplows don't come (though the kids can now build snow tunnels and forts). Thursday. Still no plow, and supplies are running low. On Friday, armed with the knowledge gleaned from his Arctic Survival book, John prepares some tennis rackets and his sled and ventures out, stopping at each of the neighbors' houses on his way to and from the store (a very funny map charts his journey and what he does on the way) and singlehandedly bringing everyone something they needed—from cat food and milk to coffee, candles and peanut butter. The Caldecott honoree's pencil, watercolor and digital paint illustrations are reminiscent of Steven Kellogg in their light and line and detail, and readers will pore over the pages as they vicariously live through a blizzard. An author's note explains that the story is based on his own experience in the New England blizzard of 1978. A kid is the hero in this tale of ingenuity and bravery. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423178651
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
10/30/2014
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
79,815
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

John Rocco (www.roccoart.com) studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design and The School of Visual Arts. In addition to writing and illustrating his own picture books, including the New York Times best-selling and Caldecott Honor-winning Blackout, he has created all of the cover art for Rick Riordan's best-selling Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus series. He also illustrated Percy Jackson's Greek Gods. Before becoming a full-time children's book creator, he worked as an art director on "Shrek" for Dreamworks, and for Disney Imagineering. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

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