cover image R Is for Rocket: An ABC Book

R Is for Rocket: An ABC Book

Tad Hills. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-553-52228-0

Having explored reading and writing in his first two picture books, Rocket the dog heads up a tour of the alphabet, starring a handful of his animal friends and featuring abundant alliteration. Hills creates sweet, gentle scenes for each letter, introducing moments of light humor (Bella the squirrel “plays in the ivy. It’s not a good idea. It makes her itch”), while touching on emotions like joy, kindness, and fear (“The waves are noisy. They make Owl nervous”). Bold type highlights the repeated letters, and Hills’s oil paint and pencil illustrations exude a quiet, soothing soulfulness throughout. Ages 3–7. (July)