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How Rocket Learned to Read
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How Rocket Learned to Read (Rocket and the Little Yellow Bird)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  3,221 ratings  ·  355 reviews
Learn to read with this New York Times-bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own!

With a story that makes reading fun—and will even help listeners learn to read—this book is ideal for kindergarten cla...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2010)
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Kathryn
This was such a wonderful surprise! I haven't read any of Tad Hills' work before but I'm definitely going to read more of it now.

This is the gently humorous, inspiring and heartwarming story of how a young pup named Rocket became interested in the wonderful world of words. His teacher is a wise, bright-spirited yellow bird and she entices him with fascinating stories in books so that he understands why words are important and powerful and necessary. Then, when she flies south for the winter, Roc...more
Lisa Vegan
Feb 23, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dog lovers, bird lovers, kids who love books and are eager to learn to read
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
I was smiling throughout this adorable book because the illustrations, particularly of Rocket the dog, are so expressive. Rocket’s facial expressions are a hoot; they are so cute.

If the story is read to kids who love books and/or are eager to learn to read, I think this is a fabulous book. (If the book is used to try to coerce or entice reluctant readers or reluctant listeners, I’m not as big of a fan of it.) But, I’ve always loved books and reading, and dogs, and I’d have always loved this book...more
Ann
Feb 23, 2011 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ann by: Kathryn
Okay, I loved this!

Rocket is an adorable little dog who, one day, finds himself in the company of a very persuasive birdie. The little yellow bird decides it is going to be Rocket's teacher, and the first thing Rocket learns is how to read.

I love the way this story approached education and reading - instead of demanding that Rocket "needed to learn his ABCs" the little birdie instead introduces Rocket to the wonder of stories found in books, so that Rocket *wants* to learn to read so that he, to...more
Rebecca Wilson
Opening: Have you ever learned something new? What have you learned about? In our story today, Rocket the dog meets a bird who loves to teach. At first Rocket doesn't think he will like learning, Have you ever not liked learning? Well the bird in this story helps to change Rockets mind, and when he does he changes Rockets life for the better. Let's read to find out what happens to Rocket in the story, How Rocket Learned to Read.

Opening Moves:
Invite personal connections.
Raise questions to spark c...more
Donalyn
Rocket the dog learns to read after attending lessons each season with a clever yellow bird. A great book for launching a reading year with young children.
Sierra
From the cover of this book to the very last page the illustrations are adorable, super kid-friendly and vivid in color use! I thought the meaning and message behind the plot was cute! Rocket is cute dog who has a little yellow bird as his teacher. I love the way this story approached education and reading - instead of demanding that Rocket "needed to learn his ABCs" the little birdie instead introduces Rocket to the wonder of stories found in books, so that Rocket *wants* to learn to read so th...more
Nicole
This book is absolutely adorable and I highly recommend it to K and 1st grade teachers. It is all about a little dog named rocket who loved his life of chewing sticks and taking naps under the same tree everyday until one day when everything changes. One afternoon while trying to take a nap under his favorite tree, a small yellow bird approached him and said she was happy he had joined her class. Rocket explained to the bird that he didn’t come for any class and that he just wanted to take a nap...more
Barbara
There's an old saying that when the student is ready, the right teacher will arrive, and that's exactly the case in this book. Rocket, an exceptionally cute little black and white dog, has settled down for a nice relaxing fall nap when a yellow bird intent on being a teacher arrives. She sets forth a few class rules and begins to teach her student to read, using many practices commonly followed by emergent and early literacy teachers. First of all, the yellow bird reads aloud to Rocket and leave...more
David
Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally ... learns to read all on his own. Fresh, charming art by Tad Hills, the author & illustrator of Duck & Goose, will make this a favorite. (Goodreads summary)

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills is an encouraging picturebook about learning to read and the love of reading.
(Apparently also marketed as an easy reader, some of the vocabulary is above easy reading level).

The text moves the story along nicely, but th...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Rocket is a playful, busy dog whose life changes when he meets a yellow bird who teaches him the alphabet and reads stories to him. This is like the playful child who enters school and finds a whole new world opening up. It's a simple story that will give preschoolers a heads up as to what they might learn in school and will show them that it will be fun. I liked the way the bird enticed Rocket, who was initially uninterested, to join the class, by reading a story aloud, within Rocket's hearing,...more
Ashley
Audience: The audience for this book would be primary grades. Kindergarten to second grade would enjoy this book because it is about learning how to read.


Appeal: This book is appealing to kindergartners up to second graders because they too much like Rocket are in the process of learning how to read. They are learning from a teacher and practicing independently to master such skills. Students can connect to listening to stories, learning the alphabet, learning to say and spell words, using words...more
Sarah
Rocket has had a busy day and is ready for a nap when a little yellow bird arrives and wants to teach him how to read. Rocket isn’t sure he wants to be the bird’s student -- there are sticks to catch and dog things to do, but he’s soon hooked on the little bird’s story times about a dog named Buster, and soon he has developed a friendship with his teacher and is learning to read himself. This is a great book to share with any child who is learning to read - it helps children and caregivers devel...more
Kathleen Ferrel
How Rocket Learned to Read This is a very cute story about a puppy who learns to read (as the title indicates). I enjoyed the illustrations and I especially loved how the author incorporated a little yellow bird, the puppies teacher, who makes reading and learning fun for the puppy.

This book would appeal to elementary children (grades K-3rd) who are learning to read, interested in learning to read or just simply enjoy reading! This book is from the Golden Sower Award list.
Laura
A little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog how to read. Rocket, a charming puppy, doesn't want to go to school but is interested in the little yellow bird's story. After convincing the puppy to come to school, the little yellow bird teaches him the alphabet and the sounds that each letter makes. The bird flies south for the winter but Rocket continues to practice his reading skills. My favorite part is when Rocket spells his friends' names. A cute story about a sweet friendship and a little dog...more
Angela
Tad Hills has lent his talented mind and hand to a wonderful new picture book about learning to read. In this new literary adventure, we follow Rocket as he discovers the joys of reading. Rocket's teacher is an enthusiastic, motivated and cunning little yellow bird who could convince the most reluctant reader to jump right in. Beginning with the alphabet, then learning to construct words, and finally, Rocket and the little yellow bird share the joy of discovering stories. A must for book-loving...more
Bethley Giles
Hills, Tad. How Rocket Learned to Read. New York: Schwartz & Wade, 2010.
Teacher's Choice 2011
Choice

How Rocket Learned to Read is a wonderful book that shows the natural process of learning to read. Rocket the Dog is mesmerized by a story the Bird reads, and so joins her class. She teaches him the alphabet and letter sounds, but then has to leave for the winter. While she is gone, Rocket continues his study, spelling out everything he encounters. This book is just as much for teachers as it...more
Marilyn
This book is certainly a winner and it is quite understandable why it became a New York Times- bestselling picture book. If you are not familiar with Tad Hills's work then you are in for a treat indeed.

Rocket, an adorable little pup, loves chewing sticks and having naps. One day his whole life changes. He hears someone reading a story out loud. He is so enamoured by the story that he comes back the next day to find out how the story ends. The story reader is an irresistible, smart yellow bird w...more
Alicia
1. Opening: Looking at the title, what do you think this book might be about? (Possible response: I think it will be about an animal that learns to read.) Which animal do you think will be learning to read? (Possible response: The dog will, because his name is Rocket!) How many of you know how to read? How did you learn? (Take responses from students or have them share with a partner so that everyone gets a chance to share.) I remember when I learned to read. I was about your age, and once I lea...more
Emily Patterson-Blight
This delightful story features a quirky yet recognizable pair (the initially reluctant student and the enthusiastic teacher) in the unlikely form of a dog and a little yellow bird. The text, a charming hymn to the "wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet," begs re-reading as much as the charming, tranquil illustrations invite a second look. A creative introduction to reading through onomatopoeia and a fun read-aloud for both children and adults.
Glenda
The best thing about this book is what Tad Hills doesn't say about how his dog Rocket learns to read. Rocket doesn't sit in front of a computer screen, an "educational" children's show, or a canned curriculum program to learn to read. Rocket learns to read by experiencing the world, and his teacher is a bird. Read: nature, Hills' nod to Thoreau, who went to the woods to learn. This is a fantastic picture book.
Jill
Author: Tad Hills

Illustration: Tad Hills

Title: How Rocket Learned to Read

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books

Copyright: 2010

Genre: Picture Book

Grade Level/ Age: 5 – 7

Lexile: AD600L

Rating: 5

Summary/Reason for Rating: This is a story about a dog named Rocket who learns to read from a little yellow bird. I rate this book with a 5 because of the feeling I felt while reading this book and looking at the pictures. The dog and the little yellow bird are adorable and it’s sweet how they become friends;...more
The Library Lady
It's tickling my saccharine meter ever so subtly, but I'll give it a pass as this is a story with which many young reluctant readers may identify.
Cheryl
This wonderful children's book tells the story of how a little yellow bird taught Rocket the dog the joy of books and reading!
Viviane Huynh
How Rocket Learned to Read is a fun book about a dog named Rocket and a little yellow bird. The little bird becomes Rocket's teacher and teaches him the alphabet and how to use it to spell words. Initially, Rocket was not interested in learning from the little bird, but curiosity soon took over him. With stories about dogs and birds to incite interest in Rocket, the little bird is able to teach Rocket about letters and words. The major theme of this book is that learning can be a fun activity. I...more
T.
-- Is abt Personable Dogs;
-- Is abt Books;

A little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog how to read by first introducing him to the "wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet."

Learn to read with this New York Times -bestselling picture book, starring an irresistible dog named Rocket and his teacher, a little yellow bird. Follow along as Rocket masters the alphabet, sounds out words, and finally . . . learns to read all on his own! With a story that makes reading fun--and will even help listeners lear...more
Julie
Although reluctant to learn at first, Rocket discovers a passion for reading with the help of an enthusiastic teacher.

Hills' newest book is being marketed as a combination picture book/easy reader. The book trailer features children reading the book to themselves and the acknowledgments credit a professor of "reading education" at James Mason University, among other relevant experts. However, Rocket is not an easy reader, that is, not quite. While some of the text would be perfect for a child w...more
Sunday
Simple message about the value of learning to read BUT also about the power of motivation/engagement in learning to read.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 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 ea...more
Kelly
How Rocket Learned to Read is a nominee for the 2012-13 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

This book is a charming tale of a busy dog and a little yellow bird. The bird is looking for a student, and Rocket just happens to be in the area. (The bird's school is located in Rocket's favorite nap area.) At first, Rocket just wants to take his nap and keep to himself, but, as the bird begins to read a story about a dog looking for his bone, Rocket gets interested in learning more. Eventually, the bird...more
Sherry
"How Rocket Learned to Read" is a fantastic little story on so many levels. Apart from successfully demonstrating how to begin to make sense of printed words, it celebrates the importance of story upon our imaginations, and the importance of teachers and mentors to whom we look up to for guidance and companionship.

A little bird, not unlike Tweety Bird, strikes up a conversation with a fluffy, playful dog named Rocket. The bird has a classroom in mind, and hangs a banner from the trees, promotin...more
Sweet on Books
How Rocket Learned to Read is an adorable story of an enthusiastic little bird and her very first, albeit unsuspecting, pupil. Everyday, Rocket chased leaves and chewed sticks and when all the good play tired him out he would settle in for a nice, long nap. Then one day, the eager little bird sets up her classroom right in Rocket's napping spot and mistakenly thinks he is one of her students. Rocket moves away from the bird, but she has hung up her glorious alphabet banner and begun to read him...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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