Rosie: Stronger Than Steel

Amazon/Two Lions. Apr. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542017947.
K-Gr 2–Ward’s (“Dexter T. Rexter” series) tale is inspired by women in World War II who helped manufacture farm equipment and farmed land to supply food to the troops. Rosie the tractor relates her tale from creation in a factory to a Land Girls’ farm where one of the workers paints a rose on her green front. After scads of crops result from tough work, the war ends. Rosie teaches young tractors to plow until “a bang and a growl, In a puff of black smoke there I was stuck.” A farmer tinkers, bringing her back with real rubber tires and new a paint job, including an enormous rose that looks like the original has blossomed. The story ends with people in a gallery honoring World War II farmers, including a photo of Rosie. Vocabulary is rich, and the younger set will appreciate the intermittent rhymes. The style of Ward’s colored pencil and cut-paper illustrations reflect the period of the tale.
VERDICT This historical fiction tale will serve better in a unit or lesson plan on women’s history theme than one on transportation.

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