Marvelous as a read-aloud and as a springboard to maker projects in classrooms and libraries.

SOMEONE BUILDS THE DREAM

A loving ode to folks who get their hands dirty doing nitty-gritty jobs.

It’s all well and good that visionaries—authors, illustrators, scientists, illustrators, architects, and engineers—plot ideas on paper, easels, blueprints, computers, and blackboards, but thoughts, designs, and plans remain figments until pipe fitters, diggers, solderers, construction workers, carpenters, welders, miners, electricians, plumbers, and countless others get down to business and bring dreams to fruition by actually making what creators envisioned. Skyscrapers and houses don’t rise on their own, and bridges don’t span waterways by themselves. And books don’t get published by magic, either! Who gets those words and pictures—as in this very book kids are reading/hearing—onto pages? Why, typesetters and workers who run the presses and load the paper machines! This is a gorgeous, respectful tribute, expressed in jaunty rhymes that read well, to the dignity and beauty of industry and the pride and pleasure derived from doing one’s best. The word build is repeatedly italicized for emphasis. Crisp, definitively lined illustrations superbly suit the robust theme. They reveal many future-job possibilities to kids and, happily, depict multiple genders and persons of various races plying various blue-collar and professional trades, including a Black woman reading to kids at a library storytime; one character appears in a wheelchair. Tool and vehicle aficionados will feel at home. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.9-by-22.8-inch double-page spreads viewed at 35.4% of actual size.)

Marvelous as a read-aloud and as a springboard to maker projects in classrooms and libraries. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984814-33-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Earnest and silly by turns, it doesn’t quite capture the attention or the imagination, although surely its heart is in the...

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

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)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0845-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cool and stylish.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more