As a kid, who didn’t spend at least one ambitious afternoon trying to build something amazing out of toilet roll holders, tin foil and whatever else could be found lying around the house?
Rosie Revere likes collecting rubbish to construct her weird and wonderful inventions. She creates a pair of helium trousers and a hot dog dispenser complete with wired-up doll arms that squeeze out the mustard. But when her favourite zookeeper uncle laughs at one of her inventions – a thoughtful cheese-dispensing hat to keep snakes away – Rosie loses her confidence and stops sharing her ideas.
She doesn’t stop building in secret however, and it’s not until her great-great-aunt Rose comes to visit – herself an erstwhile builder of aeroplanes – that our plucky young heroine learns that a flop isn’t a failure, and mistakes shouldn’t hold you back.
Quite aside from this encouraging message, the book is beautifully illustrated by David Roberts (characters and wacky inventions are depicted with equal flair) and Andrea Beaty’s rhymes are highly imaginative. As you might expect from a story celebrating engineering and innovation, the book is lovingly crafted: I love the use of graph paper, and take a peek under the book jacket for a riot of colourful illustrations!
A wonderful, genuinely funny book that takes the sting out of so-called failure and reframes it as an essential part of innovation. If at first you don’t succeed, persevere like Rosie Revere!
Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beatty and David Roberts, published by Abrams books, is available now.