Tad Hills is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture books Duck & Goose and Duck, Duck, Goose. He has created four board books featuring the same characters: What's Up, Duck?, an ALA Notable Book; Duck and Goose, 1, 2, 3; Duck & Goose, How Are You Feeling?; and Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin. He is also the illustrator of Waking Up Wendell, by April Stevens; My Fuzzy Friends; and Knock, Knock, Who's There? Tad Hills lives in Brooklyn with his wife, their two children, and a dog named Rocket who has not (yet) learned how to read!
PreS-Gr 2-An endearing white dog with black spots loves chasing leaves and chewing sticks. He also loves napping under his favorite tree. Then his sleep is interrupted one spring day by a tiny yellow bird that designates him her first student. Rocket wants no part of her lessons, but the bird is determined to teach him to read. She returns each day, hangs an alphabet banner from the trees, and gushes, "Ah, the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet." Then she begins to read a story, stopping at an enticing part. Overcome by curiosity to hear more, Rocket eventually enters into the bird's lessons, and the two have a grand time using the "mighty, gorgeous alphabet" to spell out all the things in Rocket's world. The bird leaves as winter approaches, but Rocket continues practicing, spelling everything in sight. And when Bird returns the following spring, a tail-wagging, eager-to-read student greets her with joy. The illustrations, rendered in oil and colored pencil, offer full pages, spreads, and oval vignettes. They depict Rocket in all his various moods, from diagonal brows raised in displeasure to delight at his teacher's return. Adults will love the bird's enthusiasm, her use of stories, and her ability to associate lessons with Rocket's everyday life to win over her reluctant pupil. Youngsters will find this addition to Hills's cast of adorable animal characters simply irresistible.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
A New York Times bestseller
A 2010 Parents' Choice Silver Award
An Autumn 2010 Children's Indie Next Pick
Review, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:
"A perfect picture book for kids 3-7."
Review, THE BOSTON GLOBE:
"A picture book all about the joys of reading could easily turn preachy and dull. But "How Rocket Learned to Read'' defies gravity. Rocket is lovable, the little feathered teacher adorable. Hills tells his sprightly story as needed, not one word more or less. His pictures flow with soft color and movement. Hills makes this a story of friendship. It may persuade tentative kindergarteners that school is worth a try; teachers and librarians will love it."
Review, KIRKUS REVIEWS:
"Hills's gentle, sweet tale is a paean to the joy of reading and the teachers that inspire it."
Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
"With characters as memorable as those in Hills's Duck and Goose series, this good-natured story shows readers how Rocket, a spotted puppy, becomes a beginning reader, thanks to a little yellow bird."
Review, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:
"Youngsters will find this addition to Hills's cast of adorable animal characters simply irresistible."