That intrepid, polka-dot-kerchief–wearing engineer, Rosie Revere, stars in this inaugural installment of a chapter-book series based on Beaty and Roberts’ popular picture books.
Emergency! The Blue River Riveters need Rosie’s help. A sister Riveter has broken both wrists in a motor-scooter mishap and needs mechanical assistance to participate in the upcoming Art-a-Go-Go contest. The Riveters, a tightknit family by choice brought together building B-29s during World War II, convince Rosie to do her part. Undaunted by the two-day deadline, Rosie draws on her own knowledge and experience to get the job done, and her pals, scientist Ada Twist and architect Iggy Peck, lend a hand as Rosie tries and tries again until she gets it right with the Paintapalooza 9. But when the artist’s arms grow tired in the middle of the contest, Rosie turns to an unexpected ally to get her back to work. The story has significant visual elements: Onomatopoeia and liberal capitalization make the text pop, and the grid-patterned art and design elements familiar from the picture books inspire a science-notebook feel. There’s a fair amount of diversity, either acknowledged in the text or portrayed in the black-and-white illustrations: Rosie and Iggy are white, and Ada is black, while among the Riveters, wheelchair-driving Eleanor, aka the Boss, is Asian, Ada’s great-aunt Bernice is black, and the remainder of the Riveters appear to be diverse in the artwork. Backmatter includes further information on valves and on the history of Rosie the Riveter.
No history lessons here but plenty of affection, creativity, and raucous older ladies to make readers smile. (Fiction. 5-9)