Rebecca's Reviews > Blackout

Blackout by John Rocco
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Jun 11, 11

bookshelves: picture-books, read-alouds, favoriteillustrations
Read in June, 2011

On a hot summer night in the city, everyone is "much too busy" to play a board game with a bored little boy. He resigns himself to videogames until...the power goes out! As the family is plunged into darkness and forced to give up their evening of cooking/phoning/computing/videogaming, a new side of the city is seen, one where there are block parties in the sky, free ice cream on the street, and a new view of how to spend an evening at home with your family.

I loved John Rocco's artwork in Moonpowder, so I was excited to see this book. His transistion from color to grayscale during the blackout, and the use of twinkling lights, is lovely, as are the pages with comics-like panels to show action. A couple confusions kept this from being a 5-star book for me (I thought the protagonist was a girl; why did the blackout initially seem to disappear all the people except the main family?; on the page with two images of the lightswitch, why does the switch not move?).

Still and all, this is one of my favorite new picture books. Even with the panels, I think it could work as a small group read-aloud. I especially love the unremarked-upon instances of diversity, like the mixed-race family and what I took to be a gay couple carrying a flashlight, the one guy's hand affectionately on the other's shoulder.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lisa Vegan I thought the kid was a girl too. But this was a lovely book.


Dolly I also thought the younger child was a boy until the Dad called him Buddy, but then I thought perhaps the character could be either, left up to the reader's interpretation. Thanks for the book recommendation, Becky. I put Moonpowder on hold at my library.


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