The Rocket Book

A boy has a rocket. He fires the rocket in an apartment building. Up, up up! It goes through the 1st floor. It goes through the 2nd floor. Up, up, up to the 21st floor!

The Basement

Here is an apartment building with 20 floors.

The building’s janitor has a child. His name is Fritz. He is a bad child.

One day, he plays in the basement. He finds a rocket.

“Wow! A rocket!” says Fritz. “This is a fun toy.”

He lights a match. Then, he lights the rocket.

One! Two! Three! BLAST! The rocket shoots up. It hits the ceiling.

The First Floor

A nice family lives on the first floor. They are eating breakfast.

CRASH! The rocket blasts through the table.

The family is surprised. “Woah!” they all scream.

The dishes shake and the tea spills.

Oh no! The breakfast is ruined.

The Second Floor

Grandpa Hope lives on the second floor. His is sleeping in his chair.

BANG! The rocket blasts through the chest.

Grandpa Hope wakes up in surprise.

The rocket hits his wig. His grandchildren watch.

Oh no! Grandpa is bald.

The Third Floor

The Bracket family lives on the third floor. The little son is blowing bubbles.

WHOOSH! The rocket crashes through the table.

The son’s eyes get wide.

His glass falls over.

“Oh no!” he says. “My bubble popped!”

The Fourth Floor

Joe Budd and his family live on the fourth floor. Joe Budd is watering his new plant.

BOOM! The rocket shoots through the potted plant.

His wife screams out. His daughter gasps.

The plant explodes and the dirt flies.

Oh no! Joe Budd’s lovely plant is destroyed.

The Fifth Floor

Bill and Bob live on the fifth floor. They are playing with a toy farm.

CRASH! The rocket shoots through the farm house.

They jump back and run away.

All the animals fly up high.

Oh no! Now the farm house has a hole in the roof.

The Sixth Floor

A burglar sneaks into the apartment on the sixth floor. He walks around quietly and looks for money.

Where is the family? It’s morning, but they are still sleeping. All the rooms are dark.

BOOM! The rocket slams through the kitchen drawer.

The burglar jumps back in fear.

Spoons, forks and knives explode from the drawer. Which is louder, the rocket or the spoons?

“Oh no!” says the burglar. “The family will wake up!” And he runs out the door.

The Seventh Floor

Miss Briggs lives on the seventh floor. She is playing piano for her cousin, Mr. Gill.

BANG! The rocket blasts through the piano.

Miss Briggs gasps and Mr. Gill steps back.

The piano keys are broken and the piano is ruined.

“It’s okay,” says Mr. Gill. “You can’t play piano well, anyway.”

The Eighth Floor

Mr. Winkle lives on the eighth floor. He is filling the bathtub with water.

SPLASH! The rocket bursts through the bathtub.

Mr. Winkle is so surprised.

The water splashes on the walls and on the floor.

Oh no! Mr. Winkle’s robe is all wet.

The Ninth Floor

Bob Brooks lives on the ninth floor. He is having a party with his friends. The friends are gathered around and watching him. He is blowing up a soccer ball. Blow. Blow. Blow.

BOOM! The rocket shoots through the soccer ball.

The friends all jump.

The ball explodes.

The friends laugh and say, “You blew too hard, Bob!”

The Tenth Floor

A family and their pets live on the tenth floor. The dog is chasing the cat.

CRASH! The rocket comes through the floor.

The rocket misses the dogs nose. The cat runs away.

“What was that?” The dog is confused.

Oh no! The cat escapes. The dog starts to chase him again.

The Eleventh Floor

Carrie Cook lives on the eleventh floor. She is sitting and reading a book. Can you hear the beautiful music?

BOOM! The rocket shoots through the table.

Carrie Cook looks up.

The music player explodes. The room is a mess.

Oh gosh! But still, Carrie wants to read her book.

The Twelfth Floor

Mr. Vere lives on the twelfth floor. His is searching for a lighter. He wants to light his cigarette.

ZOOM! The rocket crashes through his dresser.

Mr. Vere is shocked, but he doesn’t move.

The rocket lights his cigarette.

Oh no! His dresser is ruined. But, oh well. Now he can smoke.

The Thirteenth Floor

Mr. and Mrs. Maud live on the thirteenth floor. They are coming home from the hat shop.

They have a big box because they bought a big hat.

SWOOSH! The rocket blasts through the box.

Mrs. Maud screams and falls. Mr. Maud catches her.

“Oh no! My beautiful hat!” says Mrs. Maud. The big hat has a big hole.

The Fourteenth Floor

Tom and his father live on the fourteenth floor. They are playing with a toy train. They are watching the train go around and around.

ZOOM! The rocket comes through the floor.

The boy falls back. The dog barks and runs away.

The train’s engine breaks into a thousand pieces.

“What happened?” the father shouted. “Why did the train blow up?”

The Fifteenth Floor

Mr. and Mrs. Pease live on the fifteenth floor. They are relaxing and reading the news.

“Look at this, dear,” he says to his wife. “Here is an interesting news article.”

WHIZ! The rocket zips through the newspaper.

They are both surprised. There is a hole in the newspaper.

“Oh no!” Mr. Pease says, “I was reading that article!”

The Sixteenth Floor

Danny lives on the sixteenth floor. He was sleeping in. His alarm clock is set to 8:00 AM.

SMASH! The rocket explodes through the alarm clock.

Danny wakes up in panic.

The alarm clock bell is flying.

“Wow,” says Danny. “This alarm clock is too loud.”

The Seventeenth Floor

Mr. Stout lives on the seventeenth floor. He is writing a story

The story isn’t good. He throws away another page.

BOOM! The rocket crashes through the typewriter.

Mr. Stout jumps up. His glasses fall off. The typewriter is ruined.

Oh well. Now he has a new story idea.

The Eighteenth Floor

Mr. and Mrs. Gummer live on the eighteenth floor. Mr. Gummer is an inventor. He is working on a machine.

“Be careful, dear,” Mrs. Gummer says. “It might explode.”

“Nonsense,” Mr. Gummer says. “It’s a good machine.”

SMASH! The rocket hits the machine.

Mrs. Gummer’s mouth drops open. The black cat runs away.

“I told you!” Mrs. Gummer says. “Now clean up this mess!”

The Nineteenth Floor

Burt lives on the nineteenth floor. He is riding his rocking horse.

He loves his rocking horse. He rides it faster and faster.

WHOOSH! The rocket flies through the floor.

Burt is knocked off the horse.

“Woah!” Burt says, “I rode my horse too fast!”

The Twentieth Floor

Sam and Minnie live on the twentieth floor. Sam is making a stuffed animal.

He works on the head of a walrus. He works very carefully.

BAM! The rocket shoots through the walrus’ mouth.

Minnie looks up. “What was that?”

“Oh,” says Sam. “I think the walrus coughed!”

The Top Floor

Billy Bunk lives on the top floor. He is stirring a pot of cream. He is making ice cream.

WHAM! The rocket blasts through the floor. It blasts into the pot of cold cream.

It gets stuck in the pot. The rocket’s long flight ends here.

Billy Bunk looks under the pot. A rocket is stuck in the bottom.

Oh well. He just keeps stirring the pot.

The End

About this story:

The Rocket Book was written in 1912. Peter Newell wrote and illustrated the book. It is in the public domain.

Here, it is rewritten by Judy Shinohara for Level 1 English learners.


Published by Judy Shinohara

Hello! I’m Judy, living in Osaka! I love teaching English to my students. In my free time, I enjoy simple gardening, reading and writing, art, and watching Netflix.

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