Official Review: Rocky by Jennie E Nicassio

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Official Review: Rocky by Jennie E Nicassio

Post by CataclysmicKnight » 01 Aug 2016, 12:55

[Following is the official review of "Rocky" by Jennie E Nicassio.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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I've read plenty of children's books with little kids, train engines and monsters as characters but Rocky by Jennie E Nicassio is the first time I've seen a tree as the main character! Rocky is a little Norway Spruce tree, with bare, bent branches and not-so-green needles (much like Charlie Brown's little dinky Christmas tree). Despite being the smallest and least perfect tree, he still dreams of winning the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Contest and becoming this year's Rockefeller Christmas Tree!

As one may expect, Rocky is mocked for his dream. The animals and even the other trees are quick to point out just how impossible it is for him to win, and just how silly it is to even think it's possible. A wood fairy named Mary Louise interrupts Bruce's bullying, and after introducing herself he asks for her to make him stronger and more handsome so he can win. She tells him that magic doesn't exist, he just has to believe! With her words, his belief is rejuvenated and he begins working to become the tree he's always wanted to be.

This message of working hard to make things happen may be a common one, but it's definitely an important message. The book also has a fair amount of bullying from Bruce Spruce and AJ the squirrel. Rocky handles them in an excellent way, by being confident but kind, standing up for himself and never giving up. Showing children that being a bully is a bad thing is great, as are showing them how to handle a bully and teaching them to work hard and believe in their dreams!

The illustrations in the book are really cute. They look digital, but the artist knows how to play with colors in a way that doesn't feel flat at all. The faces the trees make are awesome, ranging from snarky to sad to cheesy and they're all absolutely perfect for adults and children. Altogether the story itself is 25 pages, each of which has text over an image, and then the book includes an uncolored page of the main characters that could presumably be printed off to be colored. Following that, there are a few pages showing off an actual Rockefeller Tree and even the original tree from many years ago. The story, along with the Rockefeller Tree images, could easily lead to kids being excited about seeing the next tree chosen and all lit up and decorated!

While the author doesn't specify what ages the book is for, it seems like one that can be introduced as soon as a kid will sit and listen to a book being read to them. The writing is smooth and I didn't see a single grammatical error while reading. As such, I'm giving the book 4 out of 4 stars and highly recommend it for kids who can't read as well as those who are learning to read on their own. The book definitely gets bonus points for essentially giving Charlie Brown's dinky little Christmas tree its own story!

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Post by barb429 » 05 Aug 2016, 08:36

Sounds like a cute and fun book! Great review!
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Post by Vermont Reviews » 03 Dec 2016, 11:05

Great review of today's book of the day.
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Post by bookowlie » 03 Dec 2016, 11:13

Great review! I always liked Charlie Brown's dinky little tree so this story sounds like a winner. It's also nice when a children's story incorporates universal messages such as working hard to make something happen and how to handle bullies. Congrats to the author on receiving a glowing review!
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Post by poetrythanki » 03 Dec 2016, 11:24

The illustrations in the book are too colorful and attractive. Perfect book for kids for the Christmas season. It looks inspiring. Great review, by the way!
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Post by Janetleighgreen » 03 Dec 2016, 11:42

Thank you for the review. I downloaded the sample, this isn't usually my thing, but I may give it a shot.

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Post by mindyg123 » 03 Dec 2016, 12:04

Great review. Congrats on being BOTD! Love the idea of a little spruce wanting to become the Rockefeller Christmas tree. Belief in youself seems to be the main theme and perfect for children. Also just in time for the holiday season.
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Post by Sarah_Khan » 03 Dec 2016, 12:30

Great review! I agree the pictures in the book are cute :) this seems like a great book for kids.

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Post by kio » 03 Dec 2016, 12:32

This book sounds adorable. I can't wait to read it.
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Post by Celticlady » 03 Dec 2016, 12:44

From your review, I think that this is a book with important messages. Work hard and your dreams will come true. Bullying is not the way to go and I love how the author deals with this important issue. The illustrations are really nice also! Very positive and happy! Thank you for your review and Happy Holidays!

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Post by Strangerthanfiction » 03 Dec 2016, 13:18

I loved your review. I saw this book a couple of weeks ago during an Amazon giveaway and thought it sounded like it might be perfect for my granddaughter. After reading your review I am sure of it. Charlie Brown's scrawny Christmas tree Gleason a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Thank you so much for sharing.
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Post by CrescentMoon » 03 Dec 2016, 14:18

This book sounds absolutely adorable. And I love the message of working hard and standing up to bullies. Great review!
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Post by gali » 03 Dec 2016, 14:42

A tree as the main character? How cute! Sounds like a cute book with great messages for kids.

A great job on the review!
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Post by uk8971 » 03 Dec 2016, 14:43

Rocky is a perfect read for the vacations with shades of faith and bullying both and is a complete family read. A well deserved perfect score. Congrats on being the BOTD. :)

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Post by truebookaddict » 03 Dec 2016, 14:43

I love the theme of never give up on your dreams, and the anti-bullying stance. Definitely an extra bonus read for the holidays. Thanks for the thoughtful review!
Fine old Christmas, with the snowy hair and ruddy face, had done his duty that year in the noblest fashion, and had set off his rich gifts of warmth and color with all the heightening contrast of frost and snow.
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