This is the story of Rosie Revere, who dreamed of becoming a great engineer. And to that we say, hear hear! But being a trailblazing pioneer is not easy. You need gritty determination and a can-do attitude. Has Rosie got what it takes?
Rosie is a spunky little girl who spends her days secreting away bits and bobs and amassing a miscellany of junk to recycle, reuse and repurpose into gadgets and gizmos. And she’s got a history of creating the kind of zany and wacky inventions – like a hotdog dispenser and helium pants – that Caractacus Potts would be proud of.
Rosie should indeed be revered: why, she’s practically a poster girl for positivity and empowerment. And we’re all in favour of gals excelling in the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Way to go, Rosie!
But while Rosie certainly has heaps of imagination and more than a spark of ingenuity, she is lacking one vital quality: confidence. Her self-esteem takes a battering after her favourite uncle laughs uproariously when she presents the cheddar-cheese hat she has designed to deter snakes. After that debacle, the sensitive lass decides to keep her eccentric designs – and her dreams – to herself.
It is not until her great-great-aunt Rose blusters boldly onto the scene that Rosie realises she has a kindred spirit, who also knows what it’s like to have a dream. And in this instance, Rosie Revere can make dreams come true: The heli-o-cheese-coptor invention could be just what Rose needs to fly!
There are important lessons on the role of women in a man’s world, as the book highlights the grit and determination required for success. When Rosie is doodling her designs, her sketches feature trailblazing female aviators who have helped carve the way for future generations, from Elizabeth Thible, the first woman to fly in a hot-air balloon and Amelia Earhart’s solo flight across the Atlantic to Lynn Rippelmeyer, the first woman to pilot a Boeing 747.
It’s all too easy to give up when things go wrong, but the message here is that setbacks can urge us to do better and that flops and failures are the path to success. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again: it’s about resilience and perseverance.
Fans of Iggy Peck, Architect, the debut and multi award-winning book by the super talented Beaty-Roberts partnership, will recognise some familiar faces among Rosie’s fellow pupils in Lila Greer’s class at Blue River Creek. In fact, there’s Iggy himself in the front row with a pencil tucked behind his ear and Miss Greer is reading the architecture book she confiscated from Iggy (she’s obviously had a change of heart!).
The rhyming text trips off the tongue with delightful ease (though I’ll admit I’d never heard of a ‘doohickey’ before) while Roberts excels in depicting his quirky characters with great warmth and humour. Even the way Rosie peers from behind her floppy blonde fringe has shades of a coy Princess Diana and has the reader rooting for the shy girl to succeed.
All in all, this is a wonderfully feel-good tale with an uplifting moral that we could all adopt as a motto for life: The only true failure can come if you quit.
Fun fact Rosie Revere is going to the International Space Station with Story Time from Space in late summer 2015 when an astronaut will read her story from space!
Did you know? During World War II, millions of women in the United States, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand , the Soviet Union and other allied nations worked to provide food and equipment needed for the war effort. With the help of many women, American factories produced more than 300,000 aircrafts, 86,000 tanks and 2 million army trucks during the war. In the United States, these women were represented by Rosie the Riveter, a fictional character sporting a spotted scarf, just like Rosie Revere. Her catch phrase was “We can do it!”
Author notes Andrea Beaty was raised in southern Illinois, USA, in a town so small she knew everybody and their pets. One of six kids, Andrea aspent summer days traipsing through the fields and forests hunting for adventure. After attending Southern Illinois University to study Biology and Computer Science, Andrea worked for a computer software company. Andrea lives in Chicago with her family.
David Roberts was born in Liverpool. He always loved drawing from an early age and couldn’t wait to go to art college. There he developed a keen interest in pottery and fashion and went on to study a degree in fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan University. After university he worked as a milliner and began to get work as a fashion illustrator but always felt his true calling was in children’s book illustration. He finally realised his dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator when his first book Frankie Stein’s Robot written by Roy Apps was published in 1998. This book was shortlisted for the ‘Mother Goose Award’ for emerging illustrators. Since then he has illustrated works by authors such as Philip Ardagh, Daren King, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson, Tom Baker and Chris Priestley. David is also the creator of the ‘Dirty Bertie’ character about a little boy with bad habits such as picking his nose and trumping loudly! David now lives in London.