Contest Book #9
How Rocket Learned to Read, the latest picture book from bestselling author and illustrator Tad Hills, is an engaging, attractively illustrated story about a small dog who transforms from a reluctant reader to an enthusiastic one.
When autumn comes, all Rocket wants to do chase leaves and nap... until a little yellow bird announces that she is his new reading teacher. Rocket thinks maybe he'll do some napping anyway, but his interest is hooked when the bird starts reading aloud from a thrilling story about a dog with a missing bone. Over the course of a school year, Rocket learns about spelling, writing, and sounding out words, and by the time spring rolls around he and the little bird are able to read together.
Hills's book offers vibrant illustrations, a gentle sense of humor, and a wonderful message about the difficulties and rewards of learning to read. We've heard that picture book sales are declining, and while some of the possible causes definitely hold true here*, we're still recommending How Rocket Learned to Read as a solid pick for any preschool or kindergarten students on your holiday shopping list.
*How Rocket Learned to Read is both expensive ($17.99) and aimed at an extremely small sub-set of children (four-to-seven-year-old beginning readers).
[Review based on a publisher-provided copy.]