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

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,818 Ratings  ·  233 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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade
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(showing 1-30 of 2,521)
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Lisa Vegan
Jul 03, 2016 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 03, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Oct 03, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
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.
May 29, 2015 LauraR rated it really liked it
The perfect picture book for Kindergarten-2nd grade students, this books encourages students to "learn" how to write and where they can find their inspiration for this. Recommended by the International Literary Association, this Teacher's Choice book was honored in 2013 and is written by a New York Time's Bestselling Author. Rocket, who has already developed a love for reading (Sequel to Rocket Learned to Read), is learning how to write and what it means to be a writer.
This book has colorful im
Margaret Welwood
Aug 25, 2015 Margaret Welwood rated it it was amazing
The children in the story circle are insistent--their teachers don't stand on pencils. Maybe that's because they're not like Rocket's teacher, the little yellow bird. With the pencil point in the ground, the little teacher stands on the eraser and looks her furry student in the eye. "Remember, stories take time," she says encouragingly.

Rocket sniffs out lovely words like buttercup, feather, and nest, and brings them back to the classroom in the meadow. The teacher helps him spell the tricky ones
Amy Timmerman
Jun 08, 2015 Amy Timmerman rated it really liked it
Review from Omaha Public Library: School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2-The endearing dog who first encountered the joy of words in How Rocket Learned to Read (Random, 2010) wonders what he can do with all the words he's been collecting. "I'm going to write a story!" he announces to his friends, his teacher-a small yellow bird-and the world at large. But a story, he finds, is made of more than just words. With useful questions, positive feedback, and encouragement, Rocket's teacher keeps him intereste
Adorable. I think I maybe growl when I can't think of anything to write also. :)
Jim Erekson
Feb 22, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it it was ok
Shelves: picturebooks
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
Mar 01, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
Love these books and read them aloud.
Nov 28, 2015 Tonya rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
Rocket is an adorable little dog that has an affinity for reading books. He and his teacher the little yellow bird collect all kinds of words for a story as they walk through the forest. However, when it is time for him to write a story, Rocket experiences writer's block. He stares at the blank page trying to figure out how to put together all the words that he has assembled. His teacher suggests that he think about what inspires him. It turns out that he gets inspiration from the smell of pine ...more
Sarah Seasor
Feb 16, 2015 Sarah Seasor rated it liked it
"Rocket Writes a Story" written and illustrated by Tad Hills is the story of a small dog named Rocket who has learned a lot of knew words and wants to write a story, but is having a hard time figuring out what to write about. His teacher, a little yellow bird, helps encourage him and shows him things around him he wouldn't normally notice. Eventually Rocket encounters an owl up high in the nest of a tree and decides to write his story about it. I really enjoyed the Rocket's story because it talk ...more
Mar 07, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it
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
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.
Sep 01, 2012 Lorna rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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)
Mar 10, 2012 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, 2012
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.
May 27, 2014 Magpie67 rated it it was amazing
"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
Lisa P.
Apr 30, 2014 Lisa P. rated it really liked it
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
Miss Bookiverse
The drawings were adorable but the story was too weak and random.
Kate MacMillan
Jan 12, 2016 Kate MacMillan rated it it was amazing
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 around him for inspiration, Rocket sets out on a journey. Along the way he discovers small details that he has never noticed before, a timid baby owl who becomes his friend, and an idea for a story. Declared a best children's book of the year by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, this book is sure to appeal to ki ...more
S Collins
Sep 21, 2014 S Collins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: child-lit
Hill, T. (2012). Rocket Writes a Story. New York: Schwartz & Wade.

Starred review School Library Journal 2012.

Picture Book Soak

The book is about a little dog named Rocket who loves reading and finding new words. One day he decides to write a story and shares his interests with a little yellow bird who helps Rocket throughout the story with learning more words. The book touches themes like creative writing, editing, and revision. Rocket learns that everything has a name and inspiration can com
Allison Page
Apr 16, 2014 Allison Page rated it really liked it
"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
Jun 08, 2016 Samuel rated it it was amazing
Rocket Writes a Story is a great book that will set children on the path of critical thinking and creativity and makes the perfect addition to any classroom or home library. It illustrates the hardships of writing a story that some young children will face and the grow in life and into adulthood. The little yellow bird plays the perfect teacher, giving Rocket all the skills he needs to write a story and the encouragement to do so. kind of reminds you of snoopy and the bird that's always together ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Adrienne rated it liked it
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
Dec 11, 2014 Jazzmin rated it really liked it
"Rocket loved books."...
"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."...
"Rocket loved words, too."

Rocket and I have a lot in common. :) This medium-length children's book was a fun read that children, especially those learning to read and write, will find enjoyable and relatable to read. Rocket's sweet, kindly personality in itself makes the story a joy to read, as does the storyline.
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
Cheryl Rainfield
Dec 04, 2012 Cheryl Rainfield rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Oct 27, 2012 April rated it it was amazing
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
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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 about Tad Hills...

Other Books in the Series

Rocket and the Little Yellow Bird (3 books)
  • How Rocket Learned to Read
  • Rocket's Mighty Words (Oversized Board Book)

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