Whether you're ready for snow or not, John Rocco's new picture book Blizzard is in stores soon. The Caldecott Honor winner for Blackout has written and illustrated another picture book, approaching a similar topic.


Blizzard tells a story that Rocco knows very well - the beginning, middle, and end of a blizzard. In this case, the Blizzard of '78, that Rocco himself both endured and enjoyed as a child in Rhode Island. The book begins with a school full of children excited for the first signs of snow, and even more excited to leave school early. Rocco tells this tale in first-person, as the 10 year old hero, much like his real life experience. Rocco explores the exciting emotions a blizzard can bring - having snow up to your windows, the reality of exploring outdoors in 40 inches of cold, wet powder, the coziness of being stranded at home with a fire and cocoa. He approaches the change in atmosphere; going close to a week without access to groceries and no snow plows in sight, in an honest but gentle fashion which resonates with children as a serious, yet not scary, situation.  Ultimately, the hero uses a handy book on Arctic survival to help not just his family, but his neighbors as well.


This book is beautifully illustrated, but also carefully written. Rocco's Caldecott honored book Blackout tells the tale of one family's experience with the NYC blackout of 2003, and how that potentially scary event created a stronger family bond, and even a new tradition. Blizzard similarly handles a topic that can be scary and stressful for families in a way that allows the young reader to be riveted and empowered by the young hero.

Of interest, John Rocco is a former Imagineer, who worked on both Epcot and Downtown Disney projects!