Rocket Writes a Story
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Rocket Writes a Story (Rocket and the Little Yellow Bird)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  1,137 ratings  ·  198 reviews
The #1 New York Times Bestseller

This irresistible sequel to the New York Times bestselling How Rocket Learned to Read is "a perfect choice to inspire new readers and writers," according to a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

Rocket loves books and he wants to make his own, but he can't think of a story. Encouraged by the little yellow bird to look closely at the world aro...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade
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Lisa Vegan
Nov 30, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids who like writing & stories; as something to read before a writing lesson
I loved How Rocket Learned to Read and so I was very eager to read this sequel.

I didn’t expect to, but I liked this book as much as the first one. It’s so adorable.

As someone with many decades long experiences with writer’s block, my favorite line was “When he didn’t know what to write, he growled.”

I adore the illustrations, of Rocket and the yellow bird teacher, and the owl, and everything in the pictures. Rocket is just so, so cute, as are the two birds.

This would be a wonderful book to read t...more
Story building can be such a difficult task for some children but author Tad Hills introduces it in a fun way that children will understand. Adorable Rocket is guided by his teacher little yellow bird through the process of building his story. To first build his story, Rocket begins by labeling the things he sees in his environment, a tree, flower etc. each is written onto pieces of paper and hung on the tree. Slowly, Rocket begins to take what was just words and puts them together into a beauti...more
So cute! I really enjoyed Rocket Learns to Read and this story is perhaps even more dear to my heart because I love to write stories, too, and it's so adorable watching Rocket discover the magic in weaving words and expressing something you truly want to share with others. It's also a sweet story of friendship and the illustrations are humorous and charming.
Adorable. I think I maybe growl when I can't think of anything to write also. :)
Jim Erekson
I'm baffled by the high reviews for this book. It's the time-tested story of a puppy learning to write. I just didn't get it. Much like Marc Brown's Arthur books, I have no idea why the characters in this story need to be animals. It's token fantasy displacement with the only effect being to make the characters seem more cute. But a good illustrator knows how to make children cute, so why do we need it to be a puppy and Tweety Bird?

When I displace into an animal my identifying with the main cha...more
In this sequel to How Rocket Learned to Read, the endearing pup puts his reading skills and vocabulary words to work as he attempts to write his first story. He and his teacher, the yellow bird, create a word tree with all the new words Rocket has learned. But as he attempts to write a story, Rocket soon realizes that knowing lots of words does not make a story. He struggles with getting started, but with the bird’s encouragement, Rocket looks for inspiration around him. He sniffs out a pine tre...more
Brandy Falk
Rocket Writes a Story is a book about a dog named Rocket and his teacher, "the little yellow bird." The book begins by having Rocket and the little yellow bird talking about how much they love books and words. Rocket goes in search of new words and they place all the words they find in a collection on a tree. Upon looking at all the words, Rocket decides he is going to write a story but he finds he has a very hard time starting the writing process. Rocket's teacher (the little yellow bir...more
Read  Ribbet
Tad Hills brings back Rocket who learned to read in his last book. Now Rocket learns to write. Cleverly revealing how writers find their inspiration, how they make word choices, how they unblock writers block. In the end, writing is about relationships as Rocket finds out. A great book for writing mini-lessons and fostering the urgency in Work on Writing.
I must say I liked the storyline of the How Rocket Learned to Read better than this one from a sheer entertainment perspective. However, this book is PERFECT, for sharing with young kids about the writing process. So many great ways to incorporate this into the Writer's Workshop process, even for kids in the upper elementary grades.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
A companion picture book to Rocket Learns to Read. Rocket and the little yellow bird (his teacher) are back. This time Rocket is learning to write and he is going to write a story about a little owl. A little long, but still enjoyable.
A marvelous companion to Rocket Learns to Read, this book describes Rocket's writing processes in ways that young children will understand. Perfect for launching writing workshop. Besides, I'm a sucker for owls.
Free book at BEA 2013.

Really cute drawing but seriously weak story, there isn't really any point to it and seems a bit random that Rocket the puppy wants to write a story (huh?)... :(
Lisa Nagel
Wonderful companion to Rocket Learns to Read and I see teachers using this when teaching fundamentals of writing. Love how Rocket gets his ideas and inspiration.
"Rocket loved books. He loved to read them to himself or to sit quietly by his teacher, the little yellow bird, as she read them aloud. Rocket even liked the way books smelled. When he opened a new book, it smelled like a place he'd never been to, like a friend he'd never met." Brilliant!!!! This beginning is the best to read to a child, to teach them the love of reading! The story premise of collecting words and creating a word tree and then writing a story is an awesome summer idea if not a gr...more
Rocket is an unusual dog who loves books. One day he decides he wants to make his own story, but he is having bad writers block and can not come up with anything. His friend the little yellow bird encourages him to open his eyes and look for inspiration. One day he comes across this timid baby owl and gets an idea what to write about. The baby owl becomes his friend and the story gets finished! This is a book that I would definitely have in my classroom. It is perfect for students who might have...more
Infinite Playlist
The drawings were adorable but the story was too weak and random.
Allison Page
"Rocket Writes a Story" is about a puppy who is learning how to read. With the help of a small, yellow bird Rocket learns to look for small details he never would have noticed before. Rocket sets out on a journey looking for inspiration to write a story. He meets a baby owl who becomes his friend.

This is a great story to have in a classroom library. Rocket teaches us to look for things that inspire us. In this case, the baby owl inspires Rocket and they become friends. This would be a good read...more
This book would be easy to work into school and other lessons--children can begin to look for new words and to build their own word walls and stories. The illustrations are beautiful, and the encouragement from the little yellow bird is wonderful. What a positive lesson--stories take time, so one must be patient and complete lots of practice.

The only con, in my view, is that I am not sure why the characters need be animals. Animals certainly make for cute, non-threatening illustrations, but the...more
Aug 09, 2012 Alison added it
Yay for Rocket!!

We adore Rocket in our house. The 7 year old was a reluctant reader in his pre-school years. Two years ago, when Tad Hills first published How Rocket Learned To Read, I was encouraging my little guy to read and it was the PERFECT book at the perfect time.

Well, Tad Hills has done it again, and Rocket is growing with his audience. The son who was just learning to read two years ago, has picked up a pencil and is starting to write stories...just like Rocket!

We had the opportunity t...more
Cheryl Rainfield
In Rocket Writes a Story, Rocket loves to read and to find new words. When his teacher, little yellow bird, asks him what he's going to do with all the words he's collected, Rocket decides that he'll write a story. When Rocket gets stuck, his teacher helps him, and then Rocket learns how to write through his stuckness. When Rocket decides to write about an owl he passes, he gains a new friend.

Hill gives many hints in this book on how to write--from needing good characters, to writing about somet...more
1. Rating: 5
2. A book review from Publisher's Weekly says, "In a natural follow-up to How Rocket Learned to Read (2010), the black-and-white puppy with a 1950s crew cut and an irrepressible desire to learn adds writing to his skills. Rocket literally sniffs out new words that he and his teacher, the yellow bird from the first book, display on notes on the branches of a word tree (a project tailor-made for teachers looking for their next bulletin board), and the dog struggles to find a topic, cre...more
In this sequel to How Rocket Learned to Read Rocket is excited to try to write his own story. But it is easier said than done. He tries over and over again to figure out just what to say. He starts to write down good words that might be helpful on cards with pictures of the word on it. Eventually he finds some inspiration for a story. He doesn't know how the story will end, but he decides to start writing.

This is an enjoyable companion to the first book. I liked it, but didn't love it as much....more
From the creator of the New York Times bestseller, How Rocket Learned to Read, comes another book featuring Rocket and his teacher the little yellow bird.
In his inspiring book, Rocket is expanding on his reading skills and writes the words he sniffs out to describe the world around him. Every day the little yellow bird hangs Rockets words in a tree, until one day the tree is full of words. With all of the new words, Rocket decides he wants to write a story, but he has no idea what to write abou...more
Summary: In "Rocket Writes a Story," Tad Hill introduces young readers to the first step of the writing process: planning. Rocket is an adorable dog who wishes to write a story, but cannot think of any ideas! His teacher who is a little bird encourages Rocket to look around his environment for some inspiration, and comes up with a "word tree" to help Rocket get started. Rocket finds many things around him to add to the "word-tree" including the words grass, log, and cloud, but he still cannot th...more
Book 46 Bibliographic Citation:
Hills, T. (2012). Rocket writes a story. New York, NY: Schwartz & Wade Books.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 5-8, Grades K–3)

Rocket wants to write; he really does! But writer’s block has set in and he’s stuck for ideas. Brainstorming with his friend, Yellow Bird, he is encouraged to visit a shy owl “whooo” gives him some ideas; and he’s on his way.

Awards/Reviewing Sources:
2014 Colorado Children’s Book Award Nominee
2014 Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee—Picture B...more
Jessica Hottman
Rocket is a dog that loves to read. He loves words so much that he even has a little yellow bird friend who helps him make a word tree. He decides to write a story, but cannot think of anything. He looks everywhere for inspiration and eventually meets an owl that helps to inspire him. The owl is shy, but everyday Rocket reads more of his story to the owl, the owl comes farther down the tree. When Rocket finally finishes his story, the owl has come all the way down the tree and tells Rock...more
This sequel to How Rocket Learned to Read has the same irresistible charm of the first. While the first book inspired new readers on their way to proficiency, this book will inspire young writers to try their hand at the craft. Rocket loved books like they were his friends. He loved words too and used his nose to find new words to add to his collection. Eventually, Rocket had so many words, he just had to do something with them. So he decided to write his own story. But when he was faced with th...more
Ah, what a delight it was to read a picture book combining so many of the things that bring me joy! Rocket, a black and white dog, loves to read, but like many budding writers, he also enjoys collecting words. But a collection of words, while interesting to look at or say, is just a collection without being used in a story. With encouragement from his teacher, a yellow bird, Rocket decides to write his own story. From then on, he faces writer's block, looks for inspiration, and meets a new frien...more
Erika Graves
Rocket is a cute dog who has a bird for a teacher. One day, after completing his word tree, Rocket decides he is going to write a story using the words he knows. His teacher helps him as he struggles to find an idea and woks through his writers block along the way. As he's writing his story, Rocket makes an unusual friend in Owl, who becomes the subject of his story. I think this book would be a cute way to introduce writing stories. The teacher could use the prompting that Rocket is given by hi...more
Hayley Zamzow
Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills, is an adorable sequel to How Rocket Learned to Read. In this, we find Rocket, a dog, and his desire to write a story of his own. With the help from the little yellow bird, rocket starts placing words on his word tree. Eventually he uses these to write a story of his very own!

This would be wonderful for kids in pre-school through first grade when looking at the pictures, but the writing process could be useful for first through third graders, too.

This book, gi...more
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“Whenever I picture myself [as a child],” says Tad Hills, “I am doing art. I spent a lot of time on my own making things, drawing, and painting.” Hills was not consciously trying to become an artist, rather his motives were innocent and pure. “I liked making things,” he says.

As a graduate of Skidmore College in New York with a degree in art, Hills describes himself as the ultimate freelancer. He’s...more
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