As with Spanyol’s stellar Clive books, Rosa’s favorite activities buck gender stereotypes.
The toddler races toy cars, jumps monster trucks, and builds a car out of a cardboard box with her buddies in what looks like a day care or preschool setting. Spanyol’s childlike lines, soft palette, and chunky figures are as cheerful as ever. The text is mostly straightforward, simple narration peppered with exclamations from Rosa and her chums: “Rosa and Marcel play in the sandpit. ‘Dig-a-dig, dig-a-dig, scoop!’ sings Rosa.” Rosa has brown skin and black, curly hair, and she wears bright yellow eyeglasses. Her friends include Samira, who uses a wheelchair and is likely of South Asian descent; Mustafa, who appears black; Biba, who has light-brown skin and straight, black hair; and Sarah and Marcel, who both present white. Three other equally charming titles accompany this offering. In Rosa and Her Dinosaurs, the heroine dons a purple dress and plays with a collection of toy dinosaurs. Rosa and her buds (all wearing helmets) roll through the pages of Rosa Rides Her Scooter. And in Rosa Plays Ball, Rosa pushes a cart with various kinds of balls to toss about with her friends outside.
An effervescent celebration of play in the early years. (Board book. 1-3)