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. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews
After a confidence-shattering incident when she was younger, little budding engineer Rosie Revere is too timid to show anyone her machines. Then great-great-aunt Rose, an engineer herself, teaches Rosie the true meaning of a successful invention. Beaty's rhymes are cleverly constructed, and Roberts's meticulous illustrations, some on drafting paper, capture the quirkiness of the girl and her gizmos.
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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
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.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews
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[Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.