Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

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Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: How to create a young scientist, with simple tasks and many blank pages for your own speculative thinking.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: April 2017
Publisher: Abrams Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781419719103

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For a long time now, people have worried about females taking up STEM subjects – the sciences, engineering and suchlike. But I know of at least two sources of role models in that regard. One, most obviously, is Star Wars – let's face it, the latest main film had a girl who scavenged parts but could fly the Millennium Falcon with ease, and the likes of Ahsoka is adept at mending some sort of flying farming machines. If you don't wish to go too fantastical, or are seeking role models for the younger audience, there is the output of Andrea Beaty.

Yes, we've had a simple story to share, with a young engineer heroine, but this book is a spin-off that does a lot more than the original. We're introduced to the three main characters – Rosie with her strong imagination and her equipment, Rose her female relative who can encourage her when her chin drops in disappointment, and Uncle Fred, who works at the zoo and needs a few weird and wonderful inventions created for him. Which is where we come in.

Take on board the safety tips and amass Rosie's treasure trove of tools and parts, and you too might be able to recreate what she does here – which is surely to be encouraged, for not every young child can claim to have built a car, or a solar-powered cooker. But a lot of the time we don't have to get too busy with equipment and bits laying around the house, for we're firmly attached to the book, producing pictures and ideas, or brainstorming around issues across the page. What can we come up with if we just switch our brain off and drift? What progress can we imagine in the future of bicycle design? What do we have when we draw a fantasy moon base, or undersea zone?

This is one of those very interactive books, with lots of blank space for us to let rip and see what happens. The ethos of it all is established very early on, with Rosie advised to just jump back on the horse as soon as she falls off – the only true failure can come if you quit, we're informed. But in amongst the weird things we have to provide for Fred at the zoo, I appreciated the serious issues more – the fact that the world's water is getting scarcer, a lot of the planet could do with cheap power, and so on. No, the reader of this book won't come up with any startlingly fresh ideas that change things overnight, but each and every kind of creativity is welcome, and the tasks here make this unique, to my knowledge. The text is perfectly clear (albeit very American, talking of math singular) and occasionally even bursting into verse (albeit to end up rhyming clever with lever). Yes the book does have a weird swing between the childishly oddball and the serious, and does have a few too many non-STEM asides (draw your perfect team of engineer friends…) but it will attract, engage and educate on ways very few volumes can.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

This Book Thinks You're a Scientist by Harriet Russell is still the best book with hands-on science.

Buy Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rosie Revere's Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts at Amazon.com.


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