Thursday, May 2, 2013

Caldecott Honor Award Book Review: BLACKOUT by John Rocco

This past weekend while I was in Fort Worth I was able to spend a few hours at TLA on Saturday. If you've been to TLA you know that Saturday is the day publishers sell off all their extra books, and giveaway any arcs they have left. I feel so lucky to have been able to purchase to amazing picture books for a steal of a deal. Both of these books have won the Caldecott Honor Award and for good reason. I HIGHLY recommend adding Extra Yarn and Blackout to your class room, library or home list of must have books! 

Illustrated by: John Rocco
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: May 24th, 2011
Source: purchased from publisher at TLA
4 Owlets: We Really Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, "Mommm!" His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can't work on her computer, and Dad can't finish cooking dinner. What's a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights--in stars that can be seen for a change--and so many neighbors it's like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun--talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once. They even have time to play a board game together. When the electricity is restored, everything can go back to normal . . . but not everyone likes normal. The boy switches off the lights, and out comes the board game again.

Using a combination of panels and full bleed illustrations that move from color to black-and-white and back to color, John Rocco shows that if we are willing to put our cares aside for a while, there is party potential in a summer blackout

What a great story with equally great illustrations. On a warm night one family who doesn't realize how plugged into other things they are vs spending time together as a family, is reminded of all the family fun they can have together when they are unplugged, all thanks to a black out that rolls through their city. With the lights off the family is free from distractions and decides to take their fun to their roof, where they star gaze. When other families start heading out doors the party is taking to the streets. When the lights come back on later that night, the family decides to keep them off and enjoy their time together, free from the hustle and bustle of daily responsibilities and electronic distractions. 

I loved the message of the story, because it is easy to forget sometimes that the "other" things going on around us aren't what matters, but the time we spend together as a family does. We really enjoyed the story's bold illustrations. They themselves illustrate the story perfectly. The hues and color tones set the mood and really brought this story to life. Over all it's a fabulous book! I can see why it won it's well deserved award. This is one book I'm glad I picked up. 
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~