Cover image for Blizzard
Rocco, John, author, illustrator.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : Disney/Hyperion, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
"After a massive blizzard, a boy becomes a hero when he manages to walk to the local store and bring supplies back to his neighborhood which has been snowed in for days. Based on the author's childhood experience"--
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

AD 570 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 170829.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Boston Free Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clearfield Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Elma Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
West Seneca Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Blizzard is based on John Rocco's childhood experience during the now infamous Blizzard of 1978, which brought fifty-three inches of snow to his town in Rhode Island. Told with a brief text and dynamic illustrations, t he book opens with a boy's excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood's immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow break through on their street. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John uses an increasing amount of white space in his playful images, which include a gatefold spread of the boy's expedition to the store. This book about the wonder of a winter storm is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.
Praise for Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom

"With a light, humorous touch, Rocco reveals that sometimes the Kryptonite is all in your head."
--Publishers Weekly

"Bold, colorful pen-and-ink illustrations burst with power from each spread in comic-book style. This story will make a feel-good impression on budding comic book/superhero fans."
--School Library Journal

Praise for Blackout

"The plot line, conveyed with just a few sentences, is simple enough, but the dramatic illustrations illuminate the story...Not all young readers will have experienced a blackout, but this engaging snapshot could easily have them wishing for one."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The colorful pictures work beautifully with the book's design. Rocco uses comic-strip panels and a brief text to convey the atmosphere of a lively and almost magical urban landscape. Great bedtime reading for a soft summer night."
--School Library Journal (starred review)
2012 Caldecott Honor Book New York Times Notable Book Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year School Library Journal Best Book of the Year Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Praise for Fu Finds the Way

"Rocco's story flows smoothly and his illustrations are rich and appealing..."
--Kirkus Reviews

Author Notes

John Rocco grew up Barrington, Rhode Island. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and School of Visual Arts in New York City.

John collaborated with actor/comedian Whoopi Goldberg on the picture book Alice. Shortly after the project was finished he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a creative director.

At Walt Disney Imagineering John designed many attractions at Disney's Epcot, including the Post-Shows for Spaceship Earth and Mission Space. He also served as the art director for DisneyQuest, an interactive theme park in Downtown Disney. At Dreamworks, John was the pre-production art director for animated film Shrek.

In 2005 John shifted his focus to writing and illustrating children's books and created Wolf! Wolf! which netted him the Borders Original Voices Award for best picture book. His next book was Moonpowder (May 2008) followed by Fu Finds the Way (Oct 2009).

John continues to collaborate with authors and has illustrated Boy, Were We Wrong About the Solar System (Sep 2008) for Kathleen V. Kudlinski and The Lightening Thief (Dec 2009) for Rick Riodan. He also illustrates all the covers for Rick Riordan's bestselling YA series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

In 2012, his title Blackout was a Caldecott Honor recipient and made the ALA Notable Children's Books list.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In this story, drawn from an incident in Rocco's childhood, the title says it all. Snow begins falling and falling. At first it's all fun and games and hot chocolate (made with milk). By the fourth day, though, the snowplows still haven't arrived, the food is running out, and now the hot chocolate is made with water. But walking to the store doesn't seem possible unless you are light enough to use tennis rackets as snowshoes. So, tugging his sled, the young narrator sets out. A wonderful four-page pullout spread shows an eagle-eye view of the neighborhood, with tracks marking his journey to the store. There he buys supplies for his family and neighbors. In the evening, the hot chocolate will once again be made with milk and the next day, the snowplows arrive. The story is an adventure, but the fun comes from Rocco's pencil, watercolor, and digital art. Its retro look and unusual vantage points show up well on the wide expanses of white. Readers will also like that this really happened to Rocco and there's a snapshot to prove it!--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Caldecott Honoree Rocco (Blackout) recalls a journey he took as a boy during the blizzard of 1978, when he lived in a small Rhode Island town. His deft compositions use expanses of white page to convey snowdrifts and winter sky. The snow is so deep that the front door won't open, and John and his sister have to leave through the window. In another couple of days, when food supplies dwindle, "I realized it was up to me to take action.... I was the only one who knew what equipment was required." Making snowshoes out of tennis rackets, young John sets off for the grocery store. An epic gatefold spread shows his path through the neighborhood, with distractions duly noted ("Made an angel"; "Joined a snowball fight"). The store owners greet him kindly, and he drags his grocery-laden sled home in triumph, distributing food to his neighbors and providing for his family. A nostalgic air of Americana permeates the story, and John's eagerness to be a hero and his display of Yankee ingenuity offer plenty of satisfaction. Ages 3-5. Agent: Rob Weisbach, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Recounting a story from his childhood, Rocco sets this picture book during the "Blizzard of `78." At first, young John is ecstatic about the snow; he gets to stay home from school and play outside all day. But as the snow continues to pile up and the food in his house starts to run out, he and his family start to worry. Since he is the only one light enough to walk on top of the snow, he ties tennis rackets to his feet and sets out, walking to the nearest store, comically stopping along the way to help neighbors or to play. He then returns home with groceries for his family and neighbors; soon after the snowplows finally arrive, returning life back to normal. The simple text will be easily accessible to a young audience, and children will enjoy the message that even kids can be heroes in a time of a crisis. Rocco's artwork is as stellar as always; paint-splattered snow give an extra layer of detail to Rocco's already vividly textured backgrounds. The white negative space around some of his images effectively portrays the vastness of the snowstorm in a minimalist way, and the warm, cozy interiors are a lovely contrast. Great for storytime on a cold night.-Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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