If you’re not familiar with the Questioneers brand you may be familiar with the books: Rosie Revere, Engineer; Ada Twist, Scientist;and Iggy Peck, Architect. These three fantastic picture books feature bright, creative young people dealing with some often outrageous situations and finding solutions through science, technology, and their innate ingenuity. They share a great message, encourage kids to think outside the box, and they rhyme!
Basically, they’re super fun and I love them.
The Questioneers picture books are great for all ages and I’d recommend them all the way through the elementary grades. They’ve even great read-aloud books for the right group of fifth graders! (I mean, who doesn’t love a cheese-copter?) But now the Questioneers books are poised to start growing up the with the kiddos who’ve learned to love the characters early on.
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters and Ada Twist and the Perlious Pants are the first two books in a new chapter book series featuring the beloved characters. The original creators Andrea Beaty and David Roberts are behind these books, too, which means that the characters flow naturally into these new stories. There are lots of elements of the picture books that make their way into the books and, of course, the Questioneers wouldn’t be quite the same without David Roberts’ illustrations accompanying their adventures.
In Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters, Rosie’s great aunt Rose introduces her to her old war-time friends who like her spent their youth building warplanes. She’s given a bit of a peculiar problem to solve: how can she help one of the Riveters (who has lost the use of her arms) continue to paint and compete in an upcoming art show? The book sees Rosie trying to design a number of contraptions and, much like the original story, it celebrates little failures as a part of learning.
Meanwhile, in Ada Twist and the Perlious Pants one of Rosie Revere’s other family members – Ned with the helium pants – floats away from the ground. Only Ada, with her keen mind and scientific know-how, can help them save him! As they try to rescue Uncle Ned the kids (and readers) learn and explore the basics of gravity, air currents, and more. And Ada’s struggles expressing herself – and her fast-paced scientific thoughts – make the character relatable to the vast majority of kids who likely feel similarly frustrated at times.
Each of the books has the same sort of silly fun that came in the previous picture books. (Though, admittedly, a cheese-copter seems a bit more ridiculous in a prose novel.) Rosie and Ada walk the reader through their thought processes which are often drawn out by Roberts as pages from their notebooks. While some of the inventions and solutions may seem ridiculous that’s some of the fun. And the methods they use will encourage young readers to think analytically and creatively.
At the end of both stories there are sections meant to keep kids thinking and to encourage them to research topics that interest them further. There are prompted questions to get them thinking – or to get them talking with parents who want to get involved.
My little Questioneer is too young for these books (we’re still loving the picture books, though!) but she loves looking through the pages at all the illustrations and hand-written check-lists. She still gets excited about them all the same and I’m excited to know these books will be there for her to read some day.
These books are likely appeal most to kids who are already familiar with the picture book characters. The good thing is that the target audience for the the chapter books is still within the target audience of the picture books, too! I love them and I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Questioneers.