Back to School: Rocket Writes A Story by Tad Hills
ROCKET LOVED BOOKS.
HE LOVED TO READ THEM TO HIMSELF OR SIT BY HIS TEACHER THE LITTLE YELLOW BIRD AS SHE READ THEM ALOUD.
ROCKET EVEN LIKED THE WAY BOOKS SMELL.
ROCKET LOVED WORDS, TOO.
And the flip side of reading is writing. Having mastered reading, Rocket feels the need to write, to use all those clever, useful, inspiring words he has collected in a story of his own. He tells all his friends what he plans.
HE LOOKED DOWN AT THE BLANK PAGE AND THE BLANK PAGE LOOKED BACK AT HIM.
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO WRITE," HE TOLD HIS TEACHER.
Rocket has writer's block!
His teacher gives him the usual advice. Observe what you see, listen to people that interest you, describe what they do and say, think about how they do it. Write about what you like. And one more thing...
"REMEMBER, STORIES TAKE TIME."
And Rocket does, and as he notices a pine cone and a feather floating down from a tree, his observations take him to a meeting with a shy young owl high in the pine, and as Rocket begins to write, the little owl comes down, closer and closer, to hear what the story is saying.
Tad Hills' latest, Rocket Writes a Story (Schwartz & Wade, 2012) is a worthy follow-up to his best-selling How Rocket Learned to Read (see my review here), with his appealing little pooch Rocket and his enthusiastic quest for literacy, this time venturing out into putting his words into writing his own stories to read to others. Great for a pre-taste of that next grade or for a first-week-of-school read-aloud as the students prepare to put their own special words down in writing.