April 16, 2016

Being Me (A Rosie the Red Book)

by Rosemary McCarney
Illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart
Second Story Press
24 pp.
Ages 4-8
April 2016

Still sporting the red cape from Tilt Your Head, Rosie the Red that helps empower and define her, Rosie the Red returns in her second story. This time she is thinking about what she should be when she grows up when she is realizes that that way of thinking negates any contribution she can make as a kid.  “That made Rosie feel unimportant…not very useful…a little smaller…as if she would only matter when she got big.

A walk with her dad introduces Rosie to the local food bank where the manager, Mr. Santino, shows them around the busy warehouse and allows them to help pack cartons. While there, Rosie spots her friend Sam and his mother getting a box of food. Because he’s obviously embarrassed, Rosie spends the rest of the day thinking about how she could make him feel better.  With a tilt of her head–her standard thinking mode–Rosie comes up with a plan to help the food bank and Sam both.

Rosemary McCarney’s picture books consistently impart positive messages and, in Being Me, Rosie the Red is a great vehicle for teaching kids about food banks and that those who avail themselves of its offerings are no less than those who have enough food to eat without help.  By having Rosie acknowledging Sam’s artistic ability, she’s saying that everyone has strengths and everyone needs help with something, whether it is drawing a poster or getting enough food to eat.  That constructive and optimistic attitude is represented in Yvonne Cathcart’s cherry illustrations with their upbeat reds, greens, turquoise and golds.  The art is as sunny as Rosie’s approach to making life worthwhile and fair for all which is an important lesson to foster citizenship and community.
From Being Me
by Rosemary McCarney, illus. by Yvonne Cathcart

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