When I was young, I was the youngest of five children so there were bookcases stacked with books for me to work through, and books at school, and books from the library, and I probably worked through everything fairly indiscriminately. When I was a teenager I remember having a few things recommended by my mum because she saw I had similar interests to one of my brothers so suggested things that he used to like even though she knew nothing about them (thank-you, mum, you were usually right!)
And then I’d just spend hours upstairs in Blackwell’s Paperback Shop (which no longer exists) in the sci-fi section, reading all the blurbs and deciding which ones to get (or in the library, doing similar.) Recommendations were alien to me because I didn’t know people who liked the same sort of books. But then the internet came into my life, and recommendations actually made sense at last.
For picture books, I have followed recommendations from a whole host of wonderful people whose opinions I trust – most of whom are listed on the picture book blogger page – and I am very grateful to them for introducing me to so many wonderful books, of which today’s choice is one of our favourites.
Rosie Revere, Engineer: Andrea Beaty & David Roberts (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2013)
I’m afraid I can’t remember exactly which blog I first read about Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere. It was Iggy Peck, Architect that was first recommended (although I still haven’t read it) but Rosie Revere looked essential for our bookshelves – positive female role model sharing DG’s name – I trusted the recommendations and bought a copy.
We weren’t disappointed. Rosie is a young girl who collects discarded ‘junk’ to create gadgets and gizmos. However, due to an embarrassment when she was younger, she doesn’t like to share her inventions. Fortunately help is at hand in the form of great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) who shows her that flops are all part of the creation process. The only failure is to give up.
There is too much to love about this story. Rosie and her contraptions, the great-great-aunt’s advice, showing girls they can be anything they want to be, failure is necessary for success… We love David Roberts illustrations (Dirty Bertie has been a huge favourite since MG (7) was a toddler) and they are perfect in this tale. The rhyming text doesn’t quite work for me, but I think that’s an accent issue (e.g. aunts and pants don’t rhyme in my accent) and it doesn’t detract from the story being told.
With illustrations packed full of fun details to spot, and an inspiring story for all little engineers (i.e. all children) to try and fail and try again. We can do it, we just sometimes forget that we can when we grow up…