No history lessons here but plenty of affection, creativity, and raucous older ladies to make readers smile.


From the Questioneers series , Vol. 1

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)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3360-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Informative, empowering, and fun.


Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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Cool and stylish.

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Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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