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Blackout [Hardcover]

John Rocco
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 17.99
Price: CDN$ 12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

May 24 2011
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.

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Product Description

About the Author

John Rocco (www.roccoart.com) has held a wide variety of jobs in his life, from working in the shell fishing industry, to designing attractions for Walt Disney World's Epcot, to creating illustrations for the DreamWorks movie "Shrek." Since 2005 his focus has been on creating children's books, such as Wolf! Wolf!, a Borders Original Voices Award-winner; Moonpowder; and Fu Finds the Way. He has also created the cover artwork for Rick Riordan's best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Kane Chronicles series. John and his family live in Brooklyn, New York, where they have experienced their share of memorable summer blackouts.



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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh how I love this book! July 2 2012
Format:Hardcover
I was so happy to stumble across this picture book (it just came in to the library) the friday before Earth Hour on Saturday. The book opens with the images of each member of the family in different rooms "doing their own things". The power goes out, and the family comes together to find ways to wait out the blackout.
Exploring the stars, playing games by flashlight, joining the neighbours for ice cream in the street.
I shared the story by candle light with my family during earth hour. It's a wonderful reminder of how easy technology can take over, how dependant we can be on it, but also how easily we can make the choice to put the gadgets away and spend time together.
After reading it we played flashlight tag. I've done this in a preschool group before for a pjamma time program where I had parents and kids bring flashlights and we used them during storytime. It was a big hit! I think it would make a wonderful activity to compliment this story. Great for Earth Day too.
For more picture book reviews check out- [...]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No batteries required July 27 2011
By Madigan McGillicuddy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
An urban, multi-cultural family spends a hot summer night glued to the tv set, computer... until the power goes out. The book is in somewhat of a comic book format, with large panels and a few speech balloons. There's a generous use of cross-hatching, and what looks like digitally-added color. I loved the hidden little details, such as Thomas Edison's portrait looking disapprovingly on as the protagonist initially settles in for a night of video games.

Once the lights are out, the book switches to a subdued palette of mostly blue. Forced to hang out together, the family tries playing with a flashlight making shadow puppets on the wall, until they decide to go up to the roof and watch the stars. Then they head down to the street where's there's a block party atmosphere. An ice cream vendor is giving away ice cream (before it melts, I assume) and kids play by a splashing fire hydrant.

When power is finally restored, "everything went back to normal... but not everyone likes normal," and here we see the family purposely turning off the lights, and playing a board game together. This book would make a great bedtime story, and hopefully will inspire people to try out a night off-the-grid.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful illustrations March 10 2012
By Verdoonie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this for my school library. It is a Caldecott Honor Award winner for 2012. Most winners of late have been wordless books. I like this one, because it has words that are
important in our technological age. A little girl wants her family to play a board game with her, but everyone is too busy with phones, computers or house chores. There is a blackout
in the city and, because it is a hot summer night, they head to the roof, where other people are enjoying the beautiful night. The go to the street, and people are enjoying each other
and music, etc. Then the lights are restored. Everyone goes back to the way things were, except the little girl. You'll love the ending. My students really enjoyed the story and
the beautiful illustrations.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the delightful story of how a family came together during a summer blackout ... Jan. 28 2012
By D. Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The brownstone buildings were brightly lit and the streets were humming with noise. The garbage truck roared as it drove down the street and the taxi cap beeped in return. Inside one brownstone everyone in the family was busy doing their own thing. Big sister was gabbing on her cell phone, Mom was tap tap tapping away on her keyboard, and Dad was cooking. Little bro reached up on a shelf to bring down a board game. It took two players and maybe someone would play.

"Get OUT!" Big sister wasn't about to play and neither were Mom and Dad because everyone was "much too busy." He ambled back upstairs to play a video game when all of a sudden ... "the lights went out." His eyes grew wide and he began to yell, "MOM!" It was really scary because nothing worked, even his big sister's cell phone. Mom rounded up the family and they peered out over the darkness of the city. They gathered around the table as Dad made a shadow puppet against the wall. Of course, big sister was totally bored. When would the power come back on and in the meantime, what would they do without it?

This is the delightful story of how a family came together during a summer blackout. Little brother, who has nothing to do before the blackout, suddenly finds that his fear of the darkness turns into a fun adventure. The streets and building tops come alive in Brooklyn when the lights go out and everyone finds that life does go on without technology. The artwork is bold and moves from panels to full page, unframed illustration after the blackout. One of my favorite pages is when everyone discovers the stars in the sky have appeared when the lights go out. Everyone will discover in this book that not being busy is sometimes more fun than being "much too busy."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, beautiful illustrations Aug. 29 2012
By mama joyjoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We just received this book from my order a few days ago - so far we've read it every night at bedtime since. My 3 year old son loves it. The illustrations are great and the story is simple the follow. There isn't a whole lot of context here so it leaves a lot of room for discussion and observation. As a parent with a busy schedule and a busy family I could relate to the message and it's inspiring.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! June 17 2012
By JMR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about a family disconnected from one another that come together in the midst of a blackout. I have read this book to my three year old son dozens of times and every night he still asks for it. It was an excellent buy and the illustrations are incredible. I highly recommend this book.
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