How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
How Rocket Learned to Read
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How Rocket Learned to Read

3.4 28
by Tad Hills
     
 

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Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!

With a story that makes reading fun—and will even help listeners learn to read—this book

Overview

Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!

With a story that makes reading fun—and will even help listeners learn to read—this book is ideal for kindergarten classrooms and story hour or as a gift for that beginning reader. Fresh, charming art by Tad Hills, the New York Times bestselling author/illustrator of Duck & Goose, will make this a favorite.

Editorial Reviews

When a spotted puppy named Rocket takes a great leap into literacy, young readers pay heed. Duck & Goose author Tad Hills records how a tiny yellow bird helps Rocket master the rudiments of the alphabet, pronunciation, and, yes, even reading. A festive picture book to help fledgling readers get their wings.
Publishers Weekly
With characters as memorable as those in Hills’s Duck and Goose series, this good-natured story shows readers how Rocket, a spotted puppy, becomes a beginning reader, thanks to a little yellow bird. Hills uses expressive oil and colored pencil spot art (and a subtle sense of humor) to engage readers as Rocket becomes the bird’s pupil; the enthusiastic teacher wisely hooks Rocket on stories before interesting him in “the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet.... Where it all begins.” The illustrations emphasize Rocket’s responsiveness and wide-eyed curiosity as he learns letters (the bird holds up a worm while pointing to W) and progresses from there. “Together they sang out the sounds that each letter makes and spelled the sounds they heard around them.” If the details of Rocket’s transition can be nebulous (“Soon they were spelling words”) Hills still emphasizes the need for practice (“Rocket thought about the bird’s sweet chirp while he sounded out words like D-I-G and W-I-N-D and C-O-L-D”). The amiable characters and gentle text--as well as an alphabet banner the bird strings up--make this a decent primer for humans, too. Ages 3-7. (July)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Young
All Rocket wanted to do was lay down under his favorite tree in his favorite spot to nap after a busy morning of chasing leaves. Shortly after he settles down, a bright yellow bird disturbs his slumber by asking if he is her student. Rocket decides to nap elsewhere, but is intrigued by the alphabet, and eventually listens to a story as the bird reads. Anxious to find out if Buster finds his bone in the story, Rocket runs to the tree, only to find it empty, save for the story book about Buster. The next morning finds Rocket at the tree before the bird arrives, announcing he'd like to hear the end of the story about Buster. Such begins the student-teacher relationship that leaves Rocket hungry to learn during the winter while the little bird flies south. While he is alone during the winter, Rocket spells out words in the snow, he spells out what happens in winter; d-i-g, w-i-n-d, the names of his friends. When spring arrives, he spells out words such as m-u-d, and m-e-l-t. When the little yellow bird arrives after her migration Rocket meets her with great anticipation and hearty tail thumps of delight. (w-a-g) Together they continue learning about birds flying north, picnics in the sun, and even about Buster finding his bones. The images are great, especially of the weather turning. Something about the ominous grey sky is very realistic, as is the comforting instance of winter melting. Rocket is portrayed as a dog anyone could own, but is based on the author's own dog, seen in the jacket cover flap. However, the real Rocket has not yet learned to read. The book is perfect for those reluctant to earn to read. Familiar objects lend to curiosity and exploration, resulting in a successful reading experience. A terrific addition to any preschool or home library. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
Lisa Von Drasek
With his new book, How Rocket Learned to Read, Tad Hills…brings a sweet but not saccharine touch to a common struggle of childhood.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
A New York Times bestseller

A 2010 Parents’ Choice Silver Award

An Autumn 2010 Children’s Indie Next Pick


Review, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, September 12, 2010:
"A perfect picture book for kids 3-7."

Review, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 3, 2010:
"A picture book all about the joys of reading could easily turn preachy and dull. But “How Rocket Learned to Read’’ defies gravity. Rocket is lovable, the little feathered teacher adorable. Hills tells his sprightly story as needed, not one word more or less. His pictures flow with soft color and movement. Hills makes this a story of friendship. It may persuade tentative kindergarteners that school is worth a try; teachers and librarians will love it."

Review, KIRKUS REVIEWS, June 15, 2010:
"Hills’s gentle, sweet tale is a paean to the joy of reading and the teachers that inspire it."

Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, June 14, 2010:
"With characters as memorable as those in Hills’s Duck and Goose series, this good-natured story shows readers how Rocket, a spotted puppy, becomes a beginning reader, thanks to a little yellow bird."

Review, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, July 2010:
"Youngsters will find this addition to Hills’s cast of adorable animal characters simply irresistible."

School Library Journal
Gr 2—An endearing white dog with black spots loves chasing leaves and chewing sticks. He also loves napping under his favorite tree. Then his sleep is interrupted one spring day by a tiny yellow bird that designates him her first student. Rocket wants no part of her lessons, but the bird is determined to teach him to read. She returns each day, hangs an alphabet banner from the trees, and gushes, "Ah, the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet." Then she begins to read a story, stopping at an enticing part. Overcome by curiosity to hear more, Rocket eventually enters into the bird's lessons, and the two have a grand time using the "mighty, gorgeous alphabet" to spell out all the things in Rocket's world. The bird leaves as winter approaches, but Rocket continues practicing, spelling everything in sight. And when Bird returns the following spring, a tail-wagging, eager-to-read student greets her with joy. The illustrations, rendered in oil and colored pencil, offer full pages, spreads, and oval vignettes. They depict Rocket in all his various moods, from diagonal brows raised in displeasure to delight at his teacher's return. Adults will love the bird's enthusiasm, her use of stories, and her ability to associate lessons with Rocket's everyday life to win over her reluctant pupil. Youngsters will find this addition to Hills's cast of adorable animal characters simply irresistible.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375858994
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
07/27/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
54,521
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
A New York Times bestseller

A 2010 Parents’ Choice Silver Award

An Autumn 2010 Children’s Indie Next Pick


Review, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, September 12, 2010:
"A perfect picture book for kids 3-7."

Review, THE BOSTON GLOBE, October 3, 2010:
"A picture book all about the joys of reading could easily turn preachy and dull. But “How Rocket Learned to Read’’ defies gravity. Rocket is lovable, the little feathered teacher adorable. Hills tells his sprightly story as needed, not one word more or less. His pictures flow with soft color and movement. Hills makes this a story of friendship. It may persuade tentative kindergarteners that school is worth a try; teachers and librarians will love it."

Review, KIRKUS REVIEWS, June 15, 2010:
"Hills’s gentle, sweet tale is a paean to the joy of reading and the teachers that inspire it."

Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, June 14, 2010:
"With characters as memorable as those in Hills’s Duck and Goose series, this good-natured story shows readers how Rocket, a spotted puppy, becomes a beginning reader, thanks to a little yellow bird."

Review, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, July 2010:
"Youngsters will find this addition to Hills’s cast of adorable animal characters simply irresistible."

Meet the Author

Tad Hills is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture books Duck & Goose and Duck, Duck, Goose. He has created four board books featuring the same characters: What's Up, Duck?, an ALA Notable Book; Duck and Goose, 1, 2, 3; Duck & Goose, How Are You Feeling?; and Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin. He is also the illustrator of Waking Up Wendell, by April Stevens; My Fuzzy Friends; and Knock, Knock, Who's There? Tad Hills lives in Brooklyn with his wife, their two children, and a dog named Rocket who has not (yet) learned how to read!

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