Picture Books for Kids: Blackout


Picture books for kids like Blackout by John Rocco are great to read, but be sure to do so while the lights are on!  Melissa Young from Sweet on Books explains why:

What You Need to Know:

Blackout is a timely, modern parable.
• This story will resonate with anyone whose family is constantly and separately attached to their screens.
• The story is based on the big blackout on the Eastern seaboard of the United States in 2003.
• This books design is flawless; I love the way the author/illustrator plays with light and shadow to tell this story, in addition to his words.


I love this book. I love the experience of reading it and I love the message. Blackouts can be extreme inconveniences, especially as they seem to become ever more frequent (at least here on the East Coast!). But this book reminds us there can be joy in blackouts, too. Especially from a child’s perspective. You can’t get a lot done without power, and if everyone is in the same predicament, why not enjoy the freedom!

The story opens up with a little boy wandering around his apartment in search of someone to play a board game with him. But Mom is on the computer, Dad is cooking and his sister is on the phone. So the little boy wanders back to his video game. But then the lights go out, all of them! What ensues is good, old-fashioned fun. There are people everywhere, it’s practically a block party. When the lights go back on, the little boy shuts them off purposefully, and the family has some together time.

It is just such an important and timely reminder to all of us, who are constantly on our phones/laptops/ipads, to turn it all off once in a while and actually interact with each other.

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