Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was ...
Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal—to fly—Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit. From the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect comes Rosie Revere, Engineer, another charming, witty picture book about believing in yourself and pursuing your passion.
Beaty and Roberts return to the themes (and second-grade classroom) of 2007’s Iggy Peck, Architect to revel in the talents and insecurities of one of his classmates. Rosie Revere loves nothing more than to create Rube Goldberg–worthy contraptions during the wee hours of the morning. But an earlier incident has sapped Rosie’s self-confidence: after she created a quirky snake-deterring hat for a beloved zookeeper uncle, his response was devastating: “He laughed till he wheezed and his eyes filled with tears,/ all to the horror of Rosie Revere.” It takes a visit from another enterprising family member to restore Rosie’s faith in herself. The book’s message—that the unthinking words and actions of adults can have a chilling effect on children—is an important one, though Beaty hammers it a bit hard in her singsong rhymes. Luckily, Roberts compensates with comically detailed mixed-media illustrations that keep the mood light and emphasize Rosie’s creativity at every turn. To wit, in Rosie’s version of using every part of the buffalo, she doesn’t let a single baby doll appendage go to waste. Ages 5–up. (Sept.)
- Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"This is the story of Rosie Revere,/ who dreamed of becoming a great engineer." In secret, young Rosie collects from trash items to build "gadgets and gizmos," because she has been ridiculed for an earlier invention. One day her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit. Once Rose had helped build airplanes; the only wish she has not fulfilled is to fly. Rosie decides to try to help her do it. But her constructed "cheese-copter" takes off and crashes in its test flight. As Rose laughs, Rosie swears never to try again. But Rose tells her, "The only true failure can come if you quit." Together they will keep trying. And her schoolmates "...in grade two/" will "build gizmos and gadgets and doohickeys too." The cover is littered with miscellaneous stuff like tools, rockets, buttons, broken tennis rackets, etc. while the paper jacket shows Rosie and one of her inventions above more clutter, drawn on graph paper which also covers the end pages and backs the title page. Pen-and-ink and watercolors create the humorous, rather mechanically designed characters against white backgrounds. A couple of pages are devoted to historical machines that flew. A note adds historic information. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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, ID
Rhymed couplets convey the story of a girl who likes to build things but is shy about it. Neither the poetry nor Rosie's projects always work well. Rosie picks up trash and oddments where she finds them, stashing them in her attic room to work on at night. Once, she made a hat for her favorite zookeeper uncle to keep pythons away, and he laughed so hard that she never made anything publicly again. But when her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit and reminds Rosie of her own past building airplanes, she expresses her regret that she still has not had the chance to fly. Great-great-aunt Rose is visibly modeled on Rosie the Riveter, the iconic, red-bandanna–wearing poster woman from World War II. Rosie decides to build a flying machine and does so (it's a heli-o-cheese-copter), but it fails. She's just about to swear off making stuff forever when Aunt Rose congratulates her on her failure; now she can go on to try again. Rosie wears her hair swooped over one eye (just like great-great-aunt Rose), and other figures have exaggerated hairdos, tiny feet and elongated or greatly rounded bodies. The detritus of Rosie's collections is fascinating, from broken dolls and stuffed animals to nails, tools, pencils, old lamps and possibly an erector set. And cheddar-cheese spray. Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn't quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the right place. (historical note) (Picture book. 5-7)
Andrea Beaty is the author of Secrets of the Cicada Summer; Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies; When Giants Come to Play, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes; and Iggy Peck, Architect. Andrea lives just outside Chicago. Learn more about Andrea at AndreaBeaty.com. David Roberts has illustrated many children's books, including Iggy Peck, Achitect and Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story. He was runner-up for the prestigious Mother Goose Award for children’s illustration. He lives in London where, when not drawing, he likes to make hats.