The irresistible, black-and-white puppy named Rocket moves into the early-reader market following his wildly successful picture-book learning experiences, How Rocket Learned to Read (2010) and Rocket Writes a Story (2012), and a board book, Rocket’s Mighty Words (2013).
This title, part of the Step into Reading series, sports a circular logo on the front with Rocket and his friend and mentor, a yellow bird, appealing to Rocket’s established fan base. In this simple story for children who are just beginning to read a few words on their own, Rocket finds several items and is told repeatedly by the yellow bird and other friends to “Drop it, Rocket.” The pup obeys until he finds a red boot, which he wants to keep. The stereotypical wise owl brings in a book as bait, solving the minor problem. Basic words are written on cards and added to a “word tree” at the beginning and ending, an obvious reading lesson that is also a perfect complement to Rocket’s earlier picture books. Perhaps due to the severely limited vocabulary imposed by the form, this story is less whimsical than Rocket’s earlier outings, but thanks to that limited vocabulary, it should become a go-to book for adults working with children just venturing into independent reading.
Rocket’s fans should enjoy this book geared directly to children who, like their hero, are tackling the hard work of reading. (Early reader. 5-8)