Review: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills

August 12, 2010 4-8 years of age, Kid-lit, Kid-Lit/Middle Grade, Review 13

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade; 1 edition (July 27, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0375858997
  • Source: Library

Rocket is an adorable little puppy who loves to do little puppy things, like chase leaves and chew sticks.  At the end of a day, he would plop down in his favorite spot under his favorite tree. One day, he happens upon a little yellow bird.  This little bird is a teacher, so Rocket must be his student!

When the little bird discovers that Rocket can’t read, teaching him to read becomes the little bird’s mission.  Rocket is very reluctant to read; he’d much rather take a nap. This doesn’t dissuade the little bird.  She picks up a book and begins to read anyway.

At first Rocket was annoyed by the book. But in no time at all he become absorbed in the story.  He pictures it in his head.  The anticipation builds up and he must know the end of the story.

Every day Rocket returned to the little bird’s classroom.  She teaches him the alphabet, how to sound out each letter, and soon they were spelling entire words!

But soon the spring turned to fall and the bird flew away, promising to return in the winter. Despite the cold winter, Rocket couldn’t stop thinking about reading!  He continued to practice his letters and sound out words, and before long it was spring again!

This time, Rocket and the little bird began to read together :)

I read How Rocket Learned to Read to my youngest son, who will be starting kindergarten this fall.  Since his brother has reviewed for me, as well as his father, he wanted a turn at reviewing.  So, here are Justin’s brief comments:

Why did you like this book?

I liked Rocket.  I like dogs!

Other than Rocket, was there anything else you liked about this book?

YES MOM!  Rocket was learning to read.  I am learning to read! Rocket spelled out letters in the snow! Mom, can I do that when it snows!?

Yes, Justin.  It’s 90 degrees out now so we might be waiting a little while.  Was there anything you didn’t like about this book?

Yes! It was over!! Oh, and when the teacher bird left in the winter, I was sad.

So there you have it…Justin’s reviewing debut!

Personally, I loved How Rocket Learned to Read because it describes the steps to learning how to read in a fun and exciting way.  The illustrations are vivid and interesting.  It grabs the reader’s attention, just as all books should. As I explained to Justin as we read, if he follows the steps that Rocket took, with time and practice he, too, would be reading before he knew it.

How Rocket Learned to Read is the perfect book for a preschooler or a child just about to enter kindergarten.

Since we’re about to start kindergarten here, Justin & I have been reading a lot of books about school and kindergarten. Check back each week as we feature our favorite back to school/kindergarten books!

Is there a book about going back to school or starting kindergarten that you’d like to recommend?

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13 Responses to “Review: How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills”

  1. Nicole

    I like that gets right to the heart of that matter, and I think Rocket and the “teacherbird” are adorable. Great job Justin!

  2. Bookventures
    Twitter: Bookventures

    I see another book blogger in the future : ) Thanks for sharing this Justin. I really liked this book too and i think my little sister would agree : )

  3. Jen Forbus
    Twitter: jenforbus

    I like dogs, too, Justin! I think my nephew needs this book. He hasn’t gotten the reading bug yet. Maybe he’ll get the reading bird if he reads this one. What do you think?

  4. Gina

    OH…this one combines a few of my favorite things! Reading, books, and dogs! Sounds like your little one enjoyed the book at least as much as you. Thanks for sharing…and happy reading! ^_^

  5. Rhoni at CKYBooks
    Twitter: ckybooks

    LOVE it!! I really like how he connects him learning to read w/Rocket learning to read. It makes the experience more personal I’m sure.

    You’re a great mom involving your boys so much in your hobby and passing on your love of books.

  6. Judy Schu

    Tell Justin that Mama Judy is very proud of him for working on this review. Perhaps he will be reading the words with you in a matter of months! Good Job!

  7. Toni Gomez

    Excellent review Jenn. Tell Justin that I am so proud of his debut review.

    Loved to read this….nothing like going to bed with a smile on my face.

    Love you too!

  8. Rebecca

    This sounds like not only an adorable book, but also a very important book for the preschooler and kindergarten student. I would have loved to have this book to read in my pre-k classroom. They would all want to be just like Rocket! How cute.