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How Rocket Learned to Read

(Rocket and the Little Yellow Bird)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  6,135 ratings  ·  521 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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  6,135 ratings  ·  521 reviews

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Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
An inspiring short story about the dog who has hunger for learning.

La Coccinelle
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
What a cute little story! How Rocket Learned to Read is a tale about an ordinary dog who encounters an extraordinary bird. All Rocket wants to do is take a nap, but the little yellow bird wants to teach him to read. When Rocket ignores her, she starts to read a story out loud and eventually draws him in. She then proceeds to teach him the alphabet, and then to sound out words. Soon, they're spelling all kinds of things. But as winter approaches, school draws to a close and the little yellow bird ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Children Who Are Just Learning the Alphabet
Recommended to Abigail by: Kathryn
Tad Hills, creator of the popular Duck & Goose picture-books, delivers an adorable tale of a puppy who discovers the power of words in How Rocket Learned to Read. Exhausted, after a busy morning spent chasing leaves, all Rocket wanted to do was take a nap. Instead, he found himself being hailed as a prospective student by a little yellow bird, eager to teach him the alphabet, and convince him of the delights of reading. Undaunted by his lack of enthusiasm (and by his pointed removal from the ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dog lovers, bird lovers, kids who love books and are eager to learn to read
Recommended to Lisa (not getting friends updates) 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
Aug 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sweet story of a dog who makes a friend and discovers the joy of reading.
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.
Katie Clark
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: katie-reviews
How Rocket Learned To Read written and illustrated by Tad Hills is a charming book that follows a dog named Rocket on his road to learning how to read. Rocket the dog has a teacher, a little yellow bird, who encourages the dog to come to lessons. Rocket is not interested at first, but becomes interested in reading as he listens to the bird tell a story about a bone. As Rocket comes to the bird’s lessons, his love for reading becomes more and more voracious, and as he learns, his whole world arou ...more
Rachel Koury
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, gtcc
so adorable!
Favorite Rocket book so far!
Steve Tetreault
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Author: Tad Hills
Illustrator: Tad Hills
Title: How Rocket Learned to Read
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Date: 2010
Age range of intended reader as stated by book or publisher’s website: 3-7
Age range as you see it if that differs from what the book claims: Same; could also be useful with slightly older reluctant readers
Brief assessment of the book’s quality (artistic, literary, intellectual merit) – no more than two sentences: There’s a lot of text for a short book, but the illustrations are very
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Rebecca Wilson
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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 the pictur
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Malinda
Recommended to Carolynne by: Abigail
Who has not known a gifted and enthusiastic teacher who, Scheherezade-like, entices a reluctant student to start reading with an unfinished tale? Except in this case the student, Rocket, is a fluffy dog and the teacher is a tiny yellow bird. This is a cheerful account of some of the earliest steps in the reading process (the first word Rocket learns is spelled with a G and a lot of R's!). When his teacher flies away for the winter, Rocket keeps up his skills by spelling out the world around him, ...more
Betty Ortega
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
* Book Summary
How Rocket Learned to Read is a story about how a bird teaches a dog (rocket) how to read. The little yellow bird did not give on when teaching Rocket to read. At first Rocket was not very thrilled about learning to and instead he wanted to sleep.
Irma Black Award (2011), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Book (2010)
* Grade Level/ Interest level
* Appropriate Classroom Use
This would be a cute book to use during a carpet read.

*Student Who Might Benefit F
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, children-s, picture
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
Kathleen Ferrel
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Emily Patterson
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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. ...more
May 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I love Tad Hills. As charming and engaging as his Duck and Goose books, but with a nice take on that first spark of a love of reading. ...more
Maggie Gilmore
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The little puppy named Rocket met a bird friend who starts to teach Rocket how to read.
He isn't thrilled about it a first, but he get's engaged into the stories and doesn't stop spelling words.
This book would be used for a K-2 classroom to get them excited for reading.
The Library Lady
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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. ...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

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