My Rainy Day Rocket Ship
Written by Markette Sheppard
Illustrated by Charly Palmer
A Denene Millner Book — May 2020
32 Pages Age 4—8
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Spaceships, Imagination
Inside Jacket Flap
Rainy days are no match for this little astronaut, who uses everyday household items—and his super imagination—to build the perfect rocket ship for an indoor space adventure to another galaxy, where the ski is his only limit.
With rich artwork by award-winning fine artist Charly Palmer, Markette Sheppard weaves a rhythmic read-aloud that celebrates the soaring ingenuity of a child who refuses to let boredom outdo his inventiveness. Dig deeper and see a celebration of a little boy’s imagination and all the ways he uses it to transform the mundane into the extraordinary as he dreams out loud.(from jacket flap)
“Mom says it’s too rainy
to play outside today,
so I’ll have to
find my fun another way.
“I could get in some
laughs with inside toys—
cars and games that
bring much joy.”
Why I like My Rainy Day Rocket Ship
Stuck inside all day, thanks to a long rainy day, a young boy of color must decide how to entertain himself. Looking at his toys, but deciding he’d played with them enough, the young, nameless child decides he wants something new; to build something challenging; something in a new location.
In the young boy’s room hangs a brightly colored planetary system. A red, white, and blue rocket, trailing multi-colored flames, catches his eye. Looking at this system of planets, the young boy decides he wants to venture off to a new galaxy, somewhere in outer space. To get there he needs a rocket. Gathers up useful toys and household items the young boy, transforms them into a rocket ship and all the astronaut equipment he’ll need in space—and to land once his mission is complete.
The nameless young boy is home with only his parents, no siblings, or friends to join in his wild imagination. Well . . . he’s not totally alone. His white and brown pug looks on, following his boy as he prepares for take-off. Goggles transform into a space helmet and clothing used in odd ways create his spacesuit. Everything finally ready, the boy persuades his mother to turn off the lights. Dad begins counting down from ten, while “hiding” behind the couch to protect himself from energetic rocket flames kissing the area around him. The boy’s newly minted ship zooms into a new galaxy. Soon, he will safely land on planet “XYZ”.
My Rainy Day Rocket Ship highlights the imagination of a young boy when allowed to listen to his inner thoughts. Wanting to do something different, even though he knows his toys bring him much joy, he goes for the unknown; he goes for something he must create without instructions or a book. He succeeds with only the items in the house and with a little help from mom and dad (who are happy to facilitate their son’s imagination).
My Rainy Day Rocket Ship will entice young boys of all colors. The writing is lively and easy to read. Written in rhyming verses of four lines each (quatrains), this picture book breaks the main character mold by developing an African-American boy in the lead. Breaking a parental stereotype frequently wrongfully assumed, both of the boy’s parents are home, each constructively busy yet willing to stop and help their son’s imaginative play. They don’t make suggestions or critique what he has accomplished. They simply assume the roles their son gives them, helping him spend the rainy day in a new galaxy.
Young boys of every shade of black and brown can envision themself as this boy, taking off in a spaceship of their own imagination. Both parents are ready to help their son, giving the boy—the reader—a sense of importance and belonging.
Throughout the house the day zips by, documented by the various styles of clocks hanging on various walls. The young boy’s imagination tempered by time and reality. Together, these two factors help the young boy successfully land on planet XYZ, landing exactly where he needs to be—.
My Rainy Day Rocket Ship melds imagination, creativity, cooperation, and reality together as a wonderful bedtime story. Boys and girls interested in outer space, rocket ships, and a cute pug ready to co-command their adventure, will enjoy My Rainy Day Rocket Ship.
**My Rainy Day Rocket Ship recently won The CLEL Bell Picture Book Award in the category of Play. These awards are, “. . . an annual recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.” Read more about the awards here on Goodreads.
Available at Amazon: My Rainy Day Rocket Ship
My Rainy Day Rocket Ship. Text Copyright © 2020 by Markette Sheppard. Illustrations copyright © 2020 by Charly Palmer. Published by A Denene Millner Book/ A Simon & Schuster Book for Young Readers (imprint of S&S Children’s Publishing Division, New York, NY.
Copyright © 2021 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
[598—word count-review only]
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