THE ROCKET BOOK: Another Classic Story

“The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.”  − Samuel Butler

I like it when I find surprises like a newly laundered five dollar bill in the Monday wash or a piece of still edible dark chocolate hidden between the cushions of a couch. So when I found an old – and I do mean old – picture book in my stash of books, I was pleasantly surprised.

The title of the book is The Rocket Book by Peter Newell. The copyright date is 1912 by Harper & Brothers, and it also has a patent date of June 4, 1912. 

In The Rocket Book, Fritz, known as a “bad kid,” lights a rocket he finds in the basement of an apartment building. It shoots up through the ceiling and through all twenty floors or, as Newell calls them, “flats.” The residents react in their own peculiar ways as the rocket hurtles through each apartment. When it reaches the top flat, the rocket crashes into Billy Bunk’s ice cream maker where it’s frozen solid. I, personally, would have liked to have seen the rocket smash through the ice cream freezer and launch tiny balls of frozen ice cream, preferably chocolate, that fall to the earth. YUM!

The book is written in rhyming text, and the verses are filled with entertaining language and amusing puns. What makes this book unique is the hole- yes, a real hole – that appears on in the middle of every page, representing the rocket shooting through the apartments. Very cleverly done, I’d say.

Peter Newell was a popular writer and illustrator in the early 1900’s. His humorous drawings and poems delighted adults and children alike. The book certainly brought a smile to my face.  

The Rocket Book is out in a Kindle Edition. Can you believe it? I wonder if the rocket will blast through the Kindle so it has a real hole just like the one in the book.

If you have a chance, take a look at this classic. It’s a blast from the past!

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2 Comments on “THE ROCKET BOOK: Another Classic Story”


  1. I’m knew to both blogs and blogging, and so glad to have found yours. Your opening quote by Butler is what makes children’s books so timeless. And, thank goodness, it is possible to find some of Peter Newells books again.

    Thanks!

    George Shannon

    • cathyso3 Says:

      George, I’m so pleased that you found my blog. Thanks for commenting. I’ve been a fan of your books for some time. I even have signed copies. Welcome to the world of blogging!


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