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From the Rocket series

by Tad Hills ; illustrated by Tad Hills

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: July 9th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-385-37233-6
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Hills’ adorable black-and-white spotted dog named Rocket (How Rocket Learned to Read, 2010; Rocket Writes a Story, 2012) returns in this oversized vocabulary primer.

There’s no narrative to speak of here; this is a simple introduction to words for new readers. Children are first introduced to terms such as “dog,” “tail,” ear” and “spot” as they are printed on and around an iconic image of Rocket, running blissfully along with head thrown back, eyes closed and stick clutched firmly in his jaws. A spread featuring vignettes of Rocket in action presents verbs such as “wag,” “dig,” “sniff” and “nap.” Two spreads are painted to resemble giant chalkboards covered with nouns and simple drawings representing each one, while the final pages feature Rocket’s little yellow bird friend and a set of sight words on notecards scattered across a meadow. Many of the charming images will be familiar to readers, as they have appeared before, in part or whole, in other Rocket adventures.

Nothing really new here, but Rocket fans—at least those who don’t consider themselves too old for board books—may enjoy using this as a tool for practicing word recognition with the sweet puppy they’ve come to love. (Board book. 3-6)