Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

How Rocket Learned to Read

How Rocket Learned to Read

Tad Hills
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Random House, 2010   ISBN: 978-0375858994

One morning Rocket the dog starts to take his post play nap when a little yellow bird announces that she is his teacher, and Rocket is therefore her student. Rocket is not really interested in being taught anything, he just wants to have a rest.

The little yellow bird begins to read a story out loud. At first Rocket is annoyed. How is a dog supposed to have a nap under these circumstances? Then Rocket gets interested in the story. He relishes every word, and is most upset when the little bird stops reading at a crucial point in the story. Rocket wants to know what happens next, so he joins the little yellow bird’s class.

Every day Rocket learns a new letter until he knows the whole of “the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet.” Then the teacher and student start to sound out the letters, and Rocket learns how to spell the sounds that he hears.

This charming and inspirational story perfectly captures that joy that learning how to read can bring into a person’s (or a dog’s life.) With wonderfully warm and expressive illustrations throughout, this book is a must for every young child’s bookshelf.