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Rosie Revere, Engineer Hardcover – September 3, 2013
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2–Young Rosie is always trying to solve problems with her inventions. Shy and quiet, she resists talking about her dream to become a great engineer when a favorite uncle laughs at one of the gizmos she designs especially for him. But when Great-Great Aunt Rose shows up for an extended stay sporting a red polka-dotted scarf à la Rosie the Riveter, she regales her niece with stories of her experiences building airplanes during World War II. She wistfully declares, “The only thrill left on my list is to fly!/But time never lingers as long as it seems./I'll chalk that one up to an old lady's dreams.” This is an itch that Rosie has to scratch, so she sets about designing a unique contraption to help her aunt take to the skies. Of course, it doesn't turn out as planned, but Rose helps Rosie see that it was a success, despite its short air time. By the end of the story, Rosie is wearing the same polka-dotted scarf around her head. Rosie's second-grade teacher, Ms. Greer, is a lot more encouraging and open-minded about the power of creation and creativity than she was in Iggy Peck, Architect (Abrams, 2007). Roberts's charming watercolor and ink illustrations are full of whimsical details. The rhyming text may take a few practice shots before an oral reading just to get the rhythm right, but the story will no doubt inspire conversations with children about the benefits of failure and the pursuit of dreams.–Maggie Chase, Boise State University, IDα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This celebration of creativity and perseverance is told through rhyming text, which gives momentum and steady pacing to a story, consistent with the celebration of its heroine, Rosie. She’s an imaginative thinker who hides her light under a bushel (well, really, the bed) after being laughed at for one of her inventions. Then she finds encouragement from a great-great aunt whose laughter is a celebration rather than a judgment. The pairing of the wisdom of an older woman and the enthusiasm of a young girl works beautifully. Roberts’ colorful watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations, overflowing with debris, gadgets, and inventions like helium pants, are as lively as the text and Rosie herself. The graph papers on the cover and end pages are reminders that creativity requires deliberate thought (Rosie’s aunt gives her a notebook before they begin each invention). A historical note at the back of the book connects Rosie to her namesake, Rosie the Riveter, with her slogan, “We can do it!” Young readers will already be convinced. Grades K-2. --Edie Ching
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