Our Overall rating: 4.75
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How Rocket Learned to Read – by Tad Hills

May 2, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

The Digital Media Diet

A classic seamlessly re-imagined for digital with exceptional enhancements!

The 2010 New York Times bestselling title, How Rocket Learned to Read is one of those paper books that makes a great interactive app, especially with the thoughtful enhancements from Random House Kids. Not only is it lightly animated with nicely tailored interactive elements, but these additions rarely distract from what is essentially a beautifully constructed story. Tapping the page causes Rocket's tail to wag or his eyes to blink, but most enhancements focus on the young reader. Parents, teachers & librarians will appreciate the educational features, like tap-to-hear for individual words, along with highlighting word for word in time with the lovely narration by Hope Davis.

This app has nice settings overall, missing only a pageguide. There are hints for each page, a home button and even two games included. One is called "Bird's Words" and lets the player choose a sight word from four choices after hearing the word spoken aloud. All the words appear story too, making a nice connection for print awareness for early learners. The second game is called "Alphabet Drop" and uses the device's motion detection to tilt Rocket from side to side as the letters of the alphabet fall from the sky. The goal is to get all 26 letters in the right alphabetical order.

Overall, this is a nice package in app form of the popular book, with easy ways to share this title with young audiences. Great for digital storytimes with large groups, too. It's one of my favorite books to present on the big screen, is well-paced and sure to please both young and old alike.

Highly Recommended!

This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.

All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.


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How Rocket Learned to Read – by Tad Hills

May 2, 2014

By: Carisa Kluver

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Tad Hills

Random House Digital, Inc.

Length (time):
12 - 20 Minutes

Based on non-digital book: Yes

Allows Own Narration:

Uses Motion: Yes

Age: 4 - 9 +

English •

Length (pages):
38 Pages


Story Synopsis - How Rocket Learned to Read – by Tad Hills

This bestselling picture book that is teaching kids to read is now available as a playful interactive iPad app. Featuring the original story and artwork by Tad Hills, with delightful animations, lots of interactivity and two additional games to play will make this a captivating app. Children will be able to make Rocket jump and wag his tail, blow leaves off of a tree, draw letters in the snow, play in the mud and uncover other surprises. The two additional games ALPHABET DROP and BIRD’S WORDS will help children hone their letter skills and learn to spell sight words. [Source: iTunes]


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Orientation: Landscape

Format: iPad


Read to Me, Read Myself, Games, Home, Info, About Author/Illustrator, Random House Info w/Links under Parental Gate: AppStore, eMail, Web

App Release Date:


Size: 273.27 MB

Version: 1.2

Lite Version Available: No



How Rocket Learned to Read – by Tad Hills

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