Rosie Revere, Engineer

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Rosie Revere, Engineer Book Poster Image
Aspiring engineer learns to keep on trying in upbeat tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Gives a glimpse of what an engineer does (creates machines and gadgets with mechanical parts) and the kinds of tools used (power drill, protractor, gears, screws, pipe segments, glue, tape). Rosie's Aunt Rose is seen working as a riveter on a plane in World War II, and a brief note at the back gives a little history about women working to support the war effort in the 1940s.

Positive Messages

Follow your dreams. Girls can be engineers. You can make things out of found objects. Older relatives may have done interesting things in life and have things to teach you. Work hard and try, try again when you encounter failure. "Life might have failures but this was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rosie is dedicated, determined, hardworking, creative, and kind. She thinks of helping others with her inventions. Her Aunt Rose is encouraging and teaches Rosie an important helpful message about failure on the road to success. Rosie's diverse family members are loving and supportive. Her diverse classmates are cheerful and excited to try making their own inventions. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty, tells in lively rhyming verse the story of a second-grade girl who wants to be a great engineer. She loves making gadgets and tries to make a machine for her great-great-great-aunt so she can fly. There are wonderful lessons here about following your dreams and understanding that failure is part of the inventor's (or engineer's) process and that you only truly fail if you quit. And David Robertsspirited and funny illustrations offer lots to look at, especially on the pages where you see Rosie creating things from scattered parts and tools. A fun book for girls and boys, but girls especially will find a great role model in smart, industrious, determined Rosie.

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What's the story?

A second-grader named Rosie is an aspiring engineer who creates inventions out of found objects and trash, including a hot dog dispenser, helium pants, and a hat for her zookeeper uncle that shoots cheese to keep snakes away. When her uncle laughs at that invention, she gets discouraged. But then her great-great-aunt Rose, who worked constructing airplanes in World War II (complete with Rosie the Riveter red-and-white bandana), comes for a visit and tells her about all the things she did in her life and "the goals she had checked off her list one by one." Her one unfulfilled dream was to fly. So Rosie decides to build a flying machine so her aunt can achieve that goal. When it crashes, Rosie is upset and concludes that she'll never be a great engineer. But her aunt points out that it did fly before it crashed, and that failing is part of the process: "Your brilliant first flop was a raging success! / Come on, let's get busy and on to the next!"

Is it any good?

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER is a wonderful book filled with humor, delightful rhyming verse, and colorful, detailed watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations. It has a message to impart, but it does so with a light touch and in the context of a good story with emotional ups and downs.

Young Rosie is confident and creative but gets hurt when well-meaning adults laugh at her inventions. Once she learns that mishaps on the road to invention don't mean she's a failure, she regains her belief in herself and is back at work, building gadgets and gizmos and following her dream to be "a great engineer." 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about life goals and dreams. What would you like to be when you grow up?

  • How does the artist show Rosie's many moods? How does she look different when she's happy, sad, disappointed, worried?

  • Is there someone in your family -- an aunt, an uncle, or a grandparent -- you'd like to be like? Why?

Book details

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