Herman and Rosie

Overview

Once upon a time in a very busy city, on a very busy street, in two very small apartments, lived...

Herman and Rosie.

Herman liked playing the oboe, the smell of hot dogs in the winter, and watching films about the ocean.

Rosie liked pancakes, listening to old jazz records, and watching films about the ...

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Overview

Once upon a time in a very busy city, on a very busy street, in two very small apartments, lived...

Herman and Rosie.

Herman liked playing the oboe, the smell of hot dogs in the winter, and watching films about the ocean.

Rosie liked pancakes, listening to old jazz records, and watching films about the ocean.

They both loved the groovy rhythm of the city, but sometimes the bustling crowds and constant motion left them lonely, until one night ...

A Neal Porter Book

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Sarah Harrison Smith
…charmingly illustrated…
Publishers Weekly
While the title makes it sound like they’re a couple, Australian author/illustrator Gordon’s crocodile hero and deerlike heroine remain unknown to one another until the penultimate spread, even though they live in adjacent buildings and have important things in common: a love of music (oboe for him, jazz singing for her) and “watching films about the ocean.” But that’s life in the big city—New York City, in particular, which Gordon brings alive through lyrical drawings and inventive collage. His soul-mate characters are equally terrific: two sweet but lonely souls (think Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine—or maybe it’s Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan) who live in tiny apartments and eke out a living while keeping their wistful chins up. If it sounds too sophisticated for the target audience, rest assured it isn’t (although some may grow anxious when both characters lose their jobs). Readers of all ages will fall for Herman and Rosie from the start, and Gordon knows how to keep the dramatic and romantic tension just taut enough to keep the pages turning toward their inevitable meeting. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

*"Readers of all ages will fall for Herman and Rosie from the start, and Gordon knows how to keep the dramatic and romantic tension just taut enough to keep the pages turning toward their inevitable meeting."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
 

"In bustling New York, anthropomorphic croc Herman and Rosie (a goat?) inhabit parallel lives until they discover they’re soul mates . . . Sweetly celebrates artistic bonding in the Big Apple." -- Kirkus Reviews  

*"Not since Petra Mathers’s Sophie and Lou (2001) has a picture book, the arts, and romance converged so charmingly." - Booklist, starred review  

Children's Literature - Hazel Buys
Herman and Rosie live a short distance from each other, but it might as well be miles, because they live in a big, crowded city. Each pursues a dream in solitude, even though both are surrounded by hundreds of people. Herman plays the oboe and Rosie sings jazz. Each has a day job. But one day, Herman loses his job and the club where Rosie sings closes. Each retreats into deeper solitude until boredom and hunger shove each out of their apartment doors and back into the teeming city. There, they rediscover their passions, and discover each other. Gordon both celebrates the richness of city life and laments its loneliness in this gentle story of uncovering friendship right where it has been all along. The expressive drawings, supplemented by the occasional insertion of a photographic image, mimic the musical spirit of the oboe and the robust syncopation of jazz that mirror the energy of city life. The individual characters of Rosie, a deer, and Herman, a crocodile, shine through the line drawings and muted colors of the city, always at center stage. Gordon’s book would be a good addition to a preschool or early elementary school library as a resource on themes of making friends and adapting to new situations. Reviewer: Hazel Buys; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 1–3—Herman Schubert loves to play the oboe and Rosie Bloom sings, but when they lose their jobs, "everything [falls] out of tune"-until they happen to meet. There is, of course, nothing wrong with a picture book in which the illustrations are best appreciated by adults who like vintage postcards, the inventive use of collage materials, and a plethora of visual gags. But when such artwork is coupled with a story about the genesis of friendship between two adult neighbors in New York City, one has to wonder to whom the effort is truly pitched. Merely portraying the major characters as an alligator and an antelope (or maybe she's a deer?) does not ensure child appeal. A working knowledge of the lives of office workers and jazz singers in New York might provide an entrée for some children, but that's still a fairly narrow subset of potential readers.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
In bustling New York, anthropomorphic croc Herman and Rosie (a goat?) inhabit parallel lives until they discover they're soul mates. They live in tiny apartments in adjacent buildings. Herman plays oboe and sells "things" in a call center--until he's canned for not selling enough of them. Rosie's a restaurant dishwasher who takes singing lessons and gigs at a jazz club on Thursdays--until it's shuttered. In pictures and text, Gordon cleverly foretells the pair's entwined destiny, engaging readers conspiratorially as Herman and Rosie continually almost connect. Each, hearing the other's music by chance, is mesmerized for days. Both love "watching films about the ocean" and turn to Cousteau documentaries for solace after their twin career setbacks. Traipsing the city (Gordon provides a map and key for their concurrent rambles), they simultaneously buy hot dogs from the same vendor--without meeting. Finally, Rosie hears "the familiar sounds of a groovy little jazz number" and leaps "to follow that tune." The penultimate double-page spread shows them meeting--at last!--on Herman's roof against a luminous full moon. The final page shows they've formed a quartet--The Cousteaus. Gordon utilizes vintage postcards, ledgers and maps to create collaged tableaux. Evocative of William Steig and Bernard Waber, the pictures at their best juxtapose New York's duality: its cacophonous enormity and charming intimacy. Sweetly celebrates artistic bonding in the Big Apple. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596438569
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 483,530
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: AD720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gus Gordon is an Australian born writer and illustrator of books for small people and older people who like small people's books. Gus lives with his wife and three kids on the Northern beaches of Sydney. Herman and Rosie is his first book with Roaring Brook Press.

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