This is our Rosie,
stronger than steel.
She’ll plow all the land
with a turn of her wheel.
Built by women in the United States and sent to England to dig and plow alongside female farmers during World War II, Rosie the tractor does whatever is needed to support the war effort. She works day and night to help grow crops for the troops…even when she has to hide in the fields. This is because she knows, like the women who built her and the women who farm with her, that they all must do their part.
Inspired by the group of American women collectively known as “Rosie the Riveter” and the British Women’s Land Army, this is a story about taking action and coming together for the greater good.
After painting a rose on her nose, the ladies say their goodbyes. Rosie is shipped to England to support the Land Girls by plowing, digging, and sowing so crops can be planted and grown for the troops.
Rosie is passionate about her role in the war and keeps chanting her oath.
I plow and I dig.
I’ll dig and I’ll plow.
No matter the job,
this is my vow.
When victory is finally declared, Rosie’s role changes to teacher working with young tractors. One day Rosie gets stuck in mud and my heart began to ache thinking her days in the field are coming to an end. In recognition of her service, the farmers reward Rosie with new rubber wheels and shiny paint. The story closes with a museum exhibit honoring Rosies (human and mechanical) for their contributions to help win the war. Back matter including a timeline provides historical context for older readers.
There are so many things I love about Rosie: Stronger Than Steel. The concise, lyrical text, the retro illustrations, and the continuous theme of pride and commitment to a common goal. What will hook kids is Ward’s anthropomorphic Rosie who is just utterly adorable. With Rosie narrating the story, young children get a glimpse of the collective effort during the war. Kids also see Rosie’s range of emotions from excitement and determination in working in the field to worry when seeing planes in the sky. As an educator and college history major, I greatly appreciate a picture book that can be used to teach children about this important part of our American history.
While we are not at war with another country, we are currently fighting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Rosie: Stronger Than Steel is a great reminder that by working together, we as a nation (and world) can overcome the toughest battles.
Learn to Draw Rosie!
Click on link for directions on how to draw your own Rosie. https://lindsaymward.com/books/rosie-stronger-than-steel/
About the Author/Illustrator:
Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as This Book Is Gray, Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives with her family in Peninsula, Ohio, where she often sees tractors from the 1930s and 1940s. Learn more about her online at http://www.lindsaymward.com and Twitter: @lindsaymward
Reviewers love Rosie!
★“More than the sum of its parts, this is a wildly successful and well-researched shaping of the picture-book form to true historical sheroes.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★“This ‘little tractor that could’ sort of tale pays tribute to the iconic Rosie the Riveter persona from the US and the British Land Girls of the Women’s Land Army during WWII. Fans of Loren Long’s Otis, Virginia Lee Burton’s Katy, and like sturdy, dependable workhorses will welcome Rosie into the fold, but the historical perspective adds an unusual dimension to her story.” —Booklist (starred review)
“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. ” —School Library Journal
Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Rosie: Stronger than Steel, , courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.
- Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Rosie giveaway tweet.
- If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.
This giveaway is open from Friday, March 27 through Sunday, April 5, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST. Winner will be announced on April 6, 2020. Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.