Monday, October 8, 2012

Picture Book Monday - A review of Rocket Writes a Story

For many people, the idea of being a writer is very attractive. They see themselves sitting in front of an old-fashioned type writer, banging away on the keys at great speed, the words flowing from their imagination with ease. In reality writing is hard work. It can be boring, frustrating, and it is very rarely an easy process. Stories and characters refuse to appear on command, and then after they do condescend to arrive on the scene, they refuse to cooperate.

Today's picture book is about a little dog, Rocket, who writes his first story, and I plan on keeping this book on hand so that I can turn to it when I get frustrated with my own writing. 

Rocket Writes a StoryTad Hills
Picture book
For ages 4 to 7
Random House, 2012, 978-0-375-87086-6
Rocket the dog loves to read. His friend the little yellow bird taught him this valuable skill, and now Rocket eagerly reads books of all kinds. Like many people who love to read, Rocket loves  words, and encouraged by the little yellow bird, he goes off to look for new ones when he can. He brings his words back and shares them with his teacher, who helps Rocket to write the words down on small pieces of paper making sure that they are spelled correctly. Then the two friends place the pieces of paper on their word tree.
   It isn’t long before the word tree is covered with scraps of paper. What should Rocket do with them all? Rocket gets a marvelous idea. He decides that he is going to write a story using the words that he has collected. Rocket gets very excited about the project, and he eagerly tells everyone about it. Then he encounters a problem, a very serious problem. Rocket has no idea what to write.
   Writing a story for the first time, or even for the hundredth time, can be very challenging. The idea of writing a story is wonderful, and then one is faced with a blank page and an empty mind. Where do story ideas come from?
   In this delightful book, Tad Hills brings back Rocket, the little dog who learned how to read. We see how Rocket figures out what to write about, and are charmed by the surprising gift that he gets when his first writing project is complete.
   With loveable characters, sweet minimal illustrations, and a meaningful story, this is a book that will appeal to writers of all ages.

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