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HURRICANE by John Rocco


by John Rocco ; illustrated by John Rocco

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-7595-5493-1
Publisher: Little, Brown

Adversity brings out the best in people.

A young boy, perhaps the author/illustrator’s younger self, witnesses this principle firsthand—and is himself a testament to it—when a hurricane wreaks havoc. Readers meet the young narrator, who describes his “favorite place in the world” as the neighborhood dock, overlooking the nearby river, where he swims and fishes. Returning home one day, he sees his dad reinforcing their house’s windows because a hurricane’s approaching. The boy worries: What will happen to his dock? The storm’s destructive fury is dramatically portrayed both textually and visually, allowing readers to share his concern. The boy’s fears are confirmed next morning when he observes the storm’s damage to his street: Indeed, the dock has been destroyed. Unfortunately, neighbors can’t help immediately, as they’re occupied with their own home repairs; nevertheless, the boy lends them a helping hand. Afterward, with pluck, ingenuity, and every resource available, the kid attempts dock repair himself…until all his neighbors, having completed their own work and been impressed by the boy’s initiative, pitch in with new supplies and sturdily fix up “our dock.” This is exactly told, down-to-earth story about folks coming together in troubled times will evoke readers’ empathy. The excellent, realistic illustrations, rendered in pencil and watercolors, enhance the already accessible, satisfying reading experience. The narrator and dad present White; neighbors are somewhat diverse. Front endpapers provide facts about how hurricanes develop. Rear endpapers include a replica of a charming note written by 6-year-old Rocco to his parents about a fishing trip and a labeled diagram featuring the parts of a dock. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Both informative and emotionally gratifying.

(Picture book. 4-8)