And thus, Rocket and his patient teacher, the little yellow bird, embark on another learning adventure that countless children will identify with. Rocket faces common obstacles, such as trying to decide what to write about and dealing with writer’s block. Throughout, his teacher offers gentle encouragement and asks questions that help him think about specific details to add to his tale. When he becomes discouraged and impatient, she tells him, “‘Remember, stories take time.’” Finally, Rocket finishes his opus and he proudly reads it to the shy owl (the inspiration for his story), who’s been listening all along to his work-in-progress. By book’s end, Rocket, who’s constantly revising his story, finds the perfect last sentence for his tale (suggested by the owl) and makes a new friend.
With back-to-school season approaching, Rocket Writes a Story is a great choice for early readers and writers. Just as in the first Rocket book (good for children just beginning to read and reluctant readers), gorgeous expressive artwork and gently humorous text by Hills engage and inspire. Without being pedantic or condescending in the slightest, Rocket and his teacher, the little yellow bird, make reading and writing seem like one great big adventure. Their enthusiasm for learning is infectious. Kids will come away feeling reassured and excited about mastering words in the coming school year. I can’t wait to see what Rocket learns next!
Can you think of other books that inspire children to read or write their own stories?
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Sandra Lee Rella, mother of two budding bookworms, is a freelance editor and writer, and a former children’s book review editor.
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