Written by Sarah Aronson; Illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Beach Lane Books. 2019
“Question: How do you become a successful, award-winning artist and famous inventor without ever inventing anything at all?”
In this charming picture book biography, Aronson celebrates the creative genius of Rube Goldberg (1883-1970). An American cartoonist, Rube was best known for his cartoons that depicted complicated gadgets that performed simple tasks under the pen name of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. Things like: How Do You Put Holes in Doughnuts?” or “How Do You Cut Your Own Hair?” By his death at age eighty-seven in 1970, Rube had created more than 50,000 cartoons.
Neubecker’s full-page illustrations, rendered in number-two pencil and ink and then on a Macintosh computer add much energy to the narrative. He really did capture Goldberg’s style, especially when drawing his inventions. The end papers have reproductions from some of Rube’s cartoons. My favorite is: The Only Sanitary Way to Lick a Postage Stamp.
The book does include an author’s note and source materials.
The perfect book to share with students of all ages, especially middle and high school as an example of using one’s imagination to think outside the box. In her author’s note, Aronson states, “Rube’s work continues to inspire classrooms, cartoonists, and artists around the world to think outside the lines.”
Goldberg wrote, “You have to have courage to be a creator.”
To write this review, I borrowed the book from my local public library.