Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere, Engineer
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.
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