Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
“Life might have its failures, but this was NOT it. The only true failyre came come if you quit.”
I get weepy every single time I read this book. So what does that tell you?
Our little heroine, Rosie, used to dream up and build all kinds of contraptions. She built a special hat with cheddar cheese spray to keep snakes off of her Zookeeper uncle’s head. But when she gave it to him, he just laughed at it. She decided she wouldn’t be sharing her ideas with anyone any more. Until one day, her great-great-aunt Rose (inspired by Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit. She tells Rose about building airplanes a long time ago and all kinds of interesting tales. But she says that she always wished she had been able to fly herself.
That night Rosie lay in bed trying to think up a gizmo she could build to help her Aunt Rose fly.
“She looked at the cheese hat and said, “No, not I.” But questions are tricky, and some hold on tight, and this one kept Rosie awake through the night. So when dawn approached and red streaks lit the sky, young Rosie knew just how to make her aunt fly.”
The next day she builds it, it lifts off the ground for a moment, but comes crashing down. Aunt Rose laughs and Rosie gets discouraged. BUT…
” “Yes!” said her great aunt. “It crashed. That is true. But first it did just what it needed to do. Before it crashed, Rosie… before that… it flew! Your brilliant first flop was a raging success! Come, let’s get busy and on to the next.”
Aunt Rose gives her a note book, ties her red scarf around Rosie’s head, and they work on it for the rest of the day.
I have never used so much of the text of a book in a review, but Beaty’s text speaks for themselves. Along with these beautiful words, Roberts provides intricate illustrations that capture the tinkering spirit.
This is a beautiful story about trying, failing, and trying again. It can be difficult to see the good in failing. But in the right environment, a failure should be a beginning, not an end. I am reminded of one of my very favorite quotes from Isaac Asimov:
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’ “
This title also provides a great reminder to all of the adults: children take what we say to them to heart. If they have help and encouragement, they are capable of anything.
This is a good title for showing the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets framework in action. I would purchase this for a public library collection… and everyone I know. LOVE it!