Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Rocket Learned to Read: book & iPad app (ages 3 - 6)

Take a sweet, cute puppy, add in a dash of bright colors and more than a dash of gentle humor - and you have a perfect book for young children. How Rocket Learned to Read is a delightful picture book by Tad Hills that has been adapted to the iPad as a lovely app. It is not full of bells and whistles, but it stays true to the original book, is easy for young children to use by themselves, and celebrates the love of reading. A perfect combination!
How Rocket Learned to ReadHow Rocket Learned to Read
by Tad Hills
NY: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010
ages 3 - 6
available on Amazon and at your local library

How Rocket Learned to Read - iPad app
adapted for the iPad by
Random House Digital, Inc.
available on iTunes for $4.99
ages 3 - 6
Little Rocket loves chasing leaves, taking naps, and exploring his little world. One day, a bright fuzzy yellow bird shows up and declares that Rocket is her first student. Student? Rocket doesn't want to go to school. But this bird is persistent. She reads stories aloud, leaves notes around, and hangs an alphabet banner from the trees. Rocket isn't really paying attention, but when the little bird stops her story at a key point in the story, Rocket wants to know: What Happens Next??? It's a wonderful moment - when Rocket realizes that stories come alive in your mind.

The app for How Rocket Learned to Read is perfect in many ways. The narration fits the tone and speed wonderfully, soothing and yet a bit lilting. The colors are bright and cheerful on the iPad, and the page turning works smoothly. There are little interactive features on each page - the bird flaps its wings, Rocket blinks his eyes or nods his head. But the interactive features are gentle and don't overwhelm the story in any way. Children can also read the text by themselves, clicking on individual words for help. The alphabet banner responds to tapping, saying each letter and an item that starts with that letter.

Best of all, it celebrates the love of reading!

For a quick look, check out this video:

The review copy of How Rocket Learned to Read book came from our local library. The review copy of the app was sent by the publisher, Random House Digital. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support!

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.


  1. Thanks for sharing! This one is going on my order, and I love when books are having great apps as well. :)

  2. Thanks for adding your post to the I Can Read Carnival. We own this book, plus a Tad Hill's Duck & Goose book. Love the bright illustrations.

  3. We love Rocket! Clever story, lovely illustrations, and fun for both kids and adults.

    A cute plush doll based on the Rocket character here: