Rocket Writes a Story

( 4 )

Overview

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

This irresistible sequel to the New York Times bestselling How Rocket Learned to Read is "a perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers," according to a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Rocket loves books and he wants to make his own, but he can't think of a story. Encouraged by the little yellow bird to look closely at the world around him for inspiration, Rocket sets out on a journey. Along the way he...

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Overview

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

This irresistible sequel to the New York Times bestselling How Rocket Learned to Read is "a perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers," according to a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Rocket loves books and he wants to make his own, but he can't think of a story. Encouraged by the little yellow bird to look closely at the world around him for inspiration, Rocket sets out on a journey. Along the way he discovers small details that he has never noticed before, a timid baby owl who becomes his friend, and an idea for a story. Declared a best children's book of the year by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, this book is sure to appeal to kids, parents, teachers, and librarians.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Two years ago, eager learner canine Rocket took his first puppy steps towards literacy in How Rocket Learned to Read. Now he makes a great leap forward by writing his first story. Like a four-legged John Irving or Don DeLillo, he sniffs out words, topics, and characters for his imaginative little tale. Fledgling readers will likely use this cute story by Duck & Goose maestro Tad Hills as a launching pad for their own fiction projects.

Publishers Weekly
In a natural follow-up to How Rocket Learned to Read (2010), the black-and-white puppy with a 1950s crew cut and an irrepressible desire to learn adds writing to his skills. Rocket literally sniffs out new words that he and his teacher, the yellow bird from the first book, display on notes on the branches of a word tree (a project tailor-made for teachers looking for their next bulletin board), and the dog struggles to find a topic, create characters, and find inspiration for his story. Hills is adept at showing Rocket’s setbacks and successes (“When things were going well, he wagged his tail. When he didn’t know what to write, he growled”) while offering excellent tips for children following in the dog’s footsteps. “Remember, stories take time,” says the bird, who pushes Rocket to add details to his story and think about what his characters are like. Along the way, Hills gently demonstrates the power of stories to build bridges: a shy owl in a pine tree (the subject of Rocket’s story) gradually befriends Rocket as the dog shares his story with her. Ages 4–8. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
For new reader Rocket, every new book is a treasure and an adventure, "like a place he'd never been to, like a friend he'd never met." The little yellow bird introduced in How Rocket Learned to Read (2010) continues to teach and encourage this special dog. Rocket sniffs out wonderful new words in his environment, and the bird helps him create a glorious word tree. Now Rocket searches for ideas for his own story in which he can use his word collection. A shy, friendly owl provides the inspiration he needs, and he sets to work on his opus. It's not all smooth sailing; he writes, crosses out, and draws pictures, alternately wagging his tail and growling. Yellow bird helps with encouragement and questions, and Rocket keeps the owl informed about his work in progress. His finished story wins rave reviews from his teacher and his new owl friend. Hills maintains the same gentle tone he established in Rocket's first adventure. Yellow bird's innovative and thoughtful teaching methods are perfectly in sync with Rocket's thirst for learning. The plot moves along at a measured pace that stresses the step-by-step process of Rocket's endeavors. Illustrations rendered in oil paints and colored pencil lovingly depict the characters and events. A perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
School Library Journal Best of Children's Books 2012

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2012:
"A perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers."

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2012:
“Hills is adept at showing Rocket’s setbacks and successes while offering excellent tips for children following in the dog’s footsteps…Hills gently demonstrates the power of stories to build bridges.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, July 2012:
“Listeners, readers, and aspiring writers will appreciate the excellent description of the many ways that stories unfold.”

Kids' Indie Next List, Summer 2012

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Rocket, the appealing dog hero of Rocket Learns to Read, returns with his yellow bird teacher in a story to inspire young writers. Rocket loves words along with reading. The yellow bird sends him off in search of new words, which he writes down on pieces of paper to hang on the word tree that also fills both end pages. He decides to use these words to write a story, but he is at a loss about what to write; he needs inspiration. With the help of his teacher and a friendly owl, he works hard to produce his story with a "perfect ending." The simple but meaningful tale is visualized in oil paints and colored pencils, producing clean-cut images in scenes that need a minimum of context. The pictures primarily illustrate the text as the characters go about the writing. They depict a cartoon-y bird with skinny legs, a square-shaped owl, and the shaggy pup hero with a black fringe. Readers could start with the words on Rocket's tree or collect a word tree of their own to start their own story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—The endearing dog who first encountered the joy of words in How Rocket Learned to Read (Random, 2010) wonders what he can do with all the words he's been collecting. "I'm going to write a story!" he announces to his friends, his teacher-a small yellow bird-and the world at large. But a story, he finds, is made of more than just words. With useful questions, positive feedback, and encouragement, Rocket's teacher keeps him interested in the journey that turns his words into something special. And he finds, as many writers do, that his topic (an owl) becomes his friend. Hills varies his perspectives and page formats so successfully that the book's repetitive color scheme never gets tiresome. Children will love deciphering the illustrated words that cover Rocket's teaching tree. Listeners, readers, and aspiring writers will appreciate the excellent description of the many ways that stories unfold.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375870866
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 811
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tad Hills

TAD HILLS is the author and illustrator of How Rocket Learned to Read, Duck & Goose, and Duck, Duck, Goose, all New York Times bestsellers. His Duck & Goose board books include the ALA Notable Book, What's Up Duck?, and the Indie bestseller, Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Rocket is back in another inspiring and colorful children¿s book

    From the creator of the New York Times bestseller, How Rocket Learned to Read, comes another book featuring Rocket and his teacher the little yellow bird.
    In his inspiring book, Rocket is expanding on his reading skills and writes the words he sniffs out to describe the world around him. Every day the little yellow bird hangs Rockets words in a tree, until one day the tree is full of words. With all of the new words, Rocket decides he wants to write a story, but he has no idea what to write about. The little bird gives Rocket some ideas, and helps Rocket develop his story by adding details and thinking about the characters. Along the way Rocket finds inspiration in a nest high in a tree and a new friend who he can share his story with.
    Tad Hills, does an amazing job on the illustrations. The adorable dog Rocket is full of expressions and emotions that complement the great storyline, and illustrate the hardships of writing a story that young children will face. The little yellow bird plays the perfect teacher, giving Rocket all the skills he needs to write a story and the encouragement to do so. Rocket Writes a Story is a great book that will set children on the path of critical thinking and creativity and makes the perfect addition to any classroom or home library.
    Recommended for readers age 4-7.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    HES A DOGGIE

    HES A DOGGIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"!:) : )

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Delightful book

    I bought this book originally as part of the Mystery Reader series for my granddaughter's class. The kids and I had so much fun reading it, that I had to buy Peyton a copy too. Funny, sweet and such a great learning tool. Everyone was ready to write their own story and the teacher loved the Word Tree.

    I highly recommend this book to everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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