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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,145 ratings  ·  374 reviews
Blizzard is based on John Rocco's childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought 53 inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island.

Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, the book opens with a boy's excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood's immense relief upon seeing th
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 30th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published October 28th 2014)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,145 ratings  ·  374 reviews

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I love being snowed in and I have been through one 3 foot snow, but it melted in like a day. It was disappointing. I had a 2 foot snow in MI one year. This story came out of the authors memories of a 4 foot blizzard in New England in 1978. I would love to experience something like this once. It’s a whole different kind of world when there is that much snow. We are having a heat wave right now and it’s simply making me feel irritable. I am going to have to move back up north where there is colder ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Blizzard by John Rocco is based on the Blizzard of ’78, but when I spotted this cover from across the room my first thought was—“Hey! They made a book about my winter already?!” :D

New England was hit with snow upon snow upon snow this winter, but it still can’t compete with the events of 1978. This is John Rocco’s story as a 10 year old boy living and surviving the Blizzard of '78.

A warm story for a cold time. Sharing, teamwork, and community shine in this book. I adored it!

The fold out map of t
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For those who know me, the coveted 5 star rating comes to this book because it turns on the memory machine of a "little girl in 1978" when the blizzard didn't just hit new England, but I think the whole country. It certainly hit the Midwest and with it came experiences we children had not experienced as farm kids. What I remember most is seeing my non-church going father be a true Christian to men trying to get home from work, and seeing our home as a beacon in the night. My dad let them in, let ...more
Now perhaps I am truly and simply just in a bit of a foul or curmudgeonly mood this morning, but be that as it may, and although I can and do definitely appreciate the general premiss and storyline of John Rocco's Blizzard (especially since it is supposedly also based on his own childhood experiences during the so-called Blizzard of 1978), I have actually not really all that much enjoyed either his narrative or accompanying illustrations.

For one (and I do well realise that I am more than likely
Carrie Gelson
Rocco is inspiring me to think about which picture book author/illustrators are guaranteed must read creators. This guy does no wrong in my world. A title full of different things for different readers - nostalgia for a different, simpler time, adventure imagined, celebration of family and neighbourhood and just plain wow of winter and weather.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was wonderful and it was my five-year-old's favorite out of the many books about snow and winter we brought home from the library. I think because the child gets to be the hero here. I love books like that, too. Love how young John was reading the "Arctic Survival" book all along and knew just what to do when the time came ;-) Loved the little details (my kids love the cat "meowing" when she finally gets her cat food delivery!) and how the days of the week are tucked into the illu ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such detail in the pictures, right from the start look at the expressions on the kids' faces. The art and the character triumph... and so does the book, imo. To learn from the author's note that it's a memoir makes my fourth star solid. ...more
Niki (Daydream Reader)
I remember this blizzard! So cool that John Rocco wrote about it! I know my students will love this book!
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun read aloud by Dad tonight. As we read, we compared the stories of the kids’ grandpa growing up in Wyoming. He had similar experiences. Loved the double fold-out page.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A few words from the author extracted from the book:

"On Monday, February 6, 1978, New England experienced one of the biggest snowstorms in its history, It snowed for two days, and by the time it stopped, parts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut were buried under forty inches of snow.(...) The wind was blowing fifty miles an hour and created snowdrifts up to fifteen feet high. Where I grew up in Rhode Island, it took over a week for snowplows to get to our street. This book is based
Laura McLoughlin
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part of a winter themed story time I attended with my 2 year old. Interesting story recounting the author's experience as a kid during the blizzard of 1978. On a side note, it was clear to me that this wasn't taking place in KY because they would have been well stocked with bread and milk before the blizzard actually hit! :) ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I enjoyed the illustrations and the factual story based on the author’s childhood memories, but the narrative lacked a fluidity to the story and it made for a clunky read aloud. My three year old still enjoyed it though. When I asked her what she would’ve asked the little boy to bring back from the grocery store she said she would’ve asked for a box of Lucky Charms. ;-)
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this picture book and the concept behind it. The art was beautiful and I absolutely loved that our main character took charge of a situation that all of the adults of the town were incapable of doing. A full review will be coming.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture_books
The author describes his experiences during the Blizzard of '78, which buried New England under more than 40 inches of snow. ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
As he did so successfully with his previous title, Blackout, John Rocco returns to a time not too far in the distant, and manages to conjure up a distinct sense of time and place. The picture book focuses on the Blizzard of 1978 when parts of New England were buried in 40 inches of snow. At first, just about everyone is joyous as the flakes fall, and then as they drift into doorways, making it hard to move, families are resigned to simply spending lots of time together. But after a few days of t ...more
Nyapot Hogan
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Raise your and if you love it when it snows? What are some fun things you like to do when there is snow outside? What about if there was a blizzard? Who knows what a blizzard is? (response) What if it blizzard so hard that you couldn't even go out through your front door? How would you get out? Would you still want to go outside and do all those fun snow stuff?

I used this opening because most kids love playing outside when there is snow on the ground. They like making snowman and snow angels. So
Luisa Knight
A fun snow tale! The next time your kids get a snow day from school, you can pull this one out. Although it might get their hopes up that the weather will turn into a blizzard for days and days ...

Cleanliness: Someone says "thank heaven."

Ages: 4 - 8

**Like my reviews? Then you should follow me! Because I have hundreds more just like this one. With each review, I provide a Cleanliness Report, mentioning any objectionable content I come across so that parents and/or conscientious readers (like me)
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pbf-general
I really liked that this story was based on a real blizzard, and based on the author's memories of those few days his family was snowed in. I loved the big fold-out map in the middle showing John's journey to the market, and the way that he stopped and took orders for his neighbors as well. I liked how the phrase "and I thought it would never stop" was paired with a half-buried stop sign. I loved the watercolor and pencil illustrations; they were very clear and full of humor. And I loved the cle ...more
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A fun story of adventure in extreme snow, told with fantastic details in the illustrations. The text is straightforward, but the pictures really shine. The story starts before the title page - snowy endpages, and an opening page of our young hero, yardstick in hand, getting buried by the snow. Kids in my town, who get snow days when ice is forecast, but rarely get enough snow to play in, might find this particularly exciting. I loved the days of the week worked into the illustrations, the gentle ...more
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book curiously would pair perfectly with the last book we read by John Rocco, Blackout. It's based on a childhood memory and highlights the magic associated with snow days and the world "shutting down". The illustrations are great, especially the large middle spread showing an aerial view of his neighborhood and his exploratory route out of it to make it to the store for supplies. I was a bit underwhelmed to see that he really only needed to go five houses down the street to get hold of the ...more
Neat story--I liked this a little better than his other book Blackout because I liked their thoughts and seeing his adventure to the store. A fun one to try in a Wintery theme for storytime. And, of course, I like that it is based on a true story.

1/13/16 Used in B is for theme. The kids were definitely mesmerized by all the things that they were experiencing. They're used to snow, but they've never seen a blizzard. I had to explain the word to them before we began. They liked to see his journey
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a really fun tale based on author-illustrator John Rocco's real childhood experience of a blizzard on the east coast. The pictures are cute and gently recall the 70s era of the setting. After a week of being snowed in, the main character's spirited adventure to walk a mile with tennis rackets on his feet just to bring a few provisions home and to his neighbors feels daring but comforting at the same time--a real life adventure within reach. ...more
Rocco brings the Blizzard of 1978 to life as he recounts his cancelled, drinking hot cocoa, playing in the snow...and beginning to worry because they were running low on supplies but couldn't get to the store. So Rocco prepares his sleigh, checks with his neighbors and heads to town to buy supplies. I love the illustrations and love hearing this true story. It's a perfect text to use in my class right now as we study and write personal narratives. ...more
Laura (Book Scrounger)
Blizzards are yearly occurrences for anyone who lives in the frozen north, but for those who've lived in this climate more than a few years, we tend to have that one storm that stands out -- this is John Rocco's story of his experience of being snowed in for a week, written from the perspective of an adventurous young boy.

Full review here:
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love John Rocco's city and family illustrations! This is a fun true adventure story based on the blizzard of '78 in New England. John was light enough to walk on top of the snow (with tennis rackets tied to his feet!) to get provisions for his family and neighbors. ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
This felt like a bottom-of-the-barrel reject for a book idea. There isn't much to it. Not a fan of the illustration style. ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. On my list to buy.
Read this before moving to Virginia, which will certainly have more snow than Texas.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is based on the author’s experience as a child and it is beautiful and fun!
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Rocco studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is the author of four acclaimed books for children: Wolf! Wolf!, winner of the Borders Original Voices Award for best picture book; Moonpowder, part of the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators; Fu Finds the Way, and Blackout, a New York Times Best Book of the Year and winner o ...more

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