cover image Rosie: Stronger than Steel

Rosie: Stronger than Steel

Lindsay Ward. Two Lions, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1794-7

Ward (This Book Is Gray) emphasizes the role that many women played during WWII in this cadenced story narrated by a big-eyed emerald tractor christened Rosie. The scene is established with newspaper headlines: “World at War,” “Ford to Produce 10,000 Tractors,” “Women Head to Work.” From there, Rosie begins her narrative, taking readers from the scrap metal out of which she was fashioned to the factory floor on which she was welded by a cheerful, multiethnic crew of women singing: “This is our Rosie./ Stronger than steel.” Rosie next travels to an overgrown farm in England, where she works beside “brave Land Girls” beneath the shadow of enemy planes. Surrounded by music notes cut from sheet music, long-lashed Rosie smilingly repeats throughout: “I plow and I dig. /I dig and I plow./ No matter the job,/ this is my vow.” Even after headlines declare “Victory,” Rosie continues to work in the fields. If the war feels distant in Ward’s brightly abundant scenes of women at work, bright mixed-media art lends the book an appropriate air of nostalgia. An author’s note and timeline offer historic details. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]