Title: Rosie Revere, Engineer
Author: Andrea Beaty
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publishers and Year: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2003
Number of pages: 32
Rosie Revere, Engineer is the story of one young girl who dreams of becoming an engineer. Her dreams all come crashing down the day her uncle laughs at her invention, however. After this she retreats into her own world, too afraid to share her inventions, until one experience with her aunt, a tribute to Rosie the Riveter, changes her view of failure forever.
This story serves as both a mirror and a door. It serves as a mirror because it unpacks emotions that children constantly face in their own lives. For example, Rosie’s excitement and pride towards her talent of inventing is replaced by embarrassment and fear of failure when one of her inventions is mocked. Similarly, children who have not learned and accepted failure as a normal part of learning tend to retreat or put up defense mechanisms that protect them from the embarrassment and hurt that can come from failing or falling short of their own or even other people’s expectations of them. Therefore, this book reflects emotions that most children face on a daily basis. That being said, however, this book also serves as a door. Not only does it reflect the emotions of a situation such as this, but it empowers them to push through failure to reach true success. Adults have learned that there is often little success without failures along the way. This book attempts to be a pathway for children to learn these important lessons as well and hopefully give themselves grace along the way.
While the text in this book could easily stand alone without loosing any of its meaning, the pictures help to add the extra layer of emotions with which the reader can connect. For each scene, the emotions on the faces of the characters are heightened to add to the plot in each moment. In addition to this, bright colors are used throughout the book to depict Rosie’s excitement for her gifting, and jagged lines are used in almost all of her inventions to represent the movement required to build and operate the machinery. Overall, Rosie Revere, Engineer is a fun, lively story that teaches children the hard lesson of never giving up. They are able to finally see the benefits that can come if we simply keep trying.