Blackout

by John Rocco

Each older member of a family is too busy to play a game with the youngest child.... read more

Each older member of a family is too busy to play a game with the youngest child. Then: blackout! Not just their apartment but the whole city is dark. The family gathers in the kitchen with flashlights and candles (shadow puppets, anyone?) but it’s hot, so “we went up and up and up to the rooftop and found ... the lights.” Stars span the sky of the cityscape. Soon more and more neighbors make their way up, their forms silhouetted against the night as a spontaneous rooftop block party breaks out. By the time the lights come back on, family priorities have shifted, although it’s much more fun to play the game in the dark! John Rocco blends a strong yet subtle narrative with striking illustrations that capture a city neighborhood, from its diverse inhabitants to watertower-topped buildings and graffiti, as well as the surprise and wonder of sudden darkness. Rocco uses comic-style conventions (panels, word bubbles, art/text interplay) in this story featuring a biracial (Black/white) family. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

show less