Rosa’s Big Bridge Experiment

Child’s Play. (Rosa’s Workshop: Bk. 4). Oct. 2020. 20p. Tr $6.99. ISBN 9781786283627.
PreS–Spanyol’s new STEAM board books in the “Rosa’s Workshop” series show playful Rosa and her diverse set of young friends, now a bit older than in the earlier works, solving problems using their natural curiosity and the engineering design process. In this one, the group begins by playing in the sand, and becomes more purposeful as they describe and create different types of bridges. When Snowy Dog becomes stranded on a sandbank, they must create a bridge to rescue him. Along the way they experience failures and setbacks, but the children do not express disappointment. Rather, they learn from their mistakes and move on to make corrections. The majority of the text is in dialogue, though the language is sometimes more advanced than one might expect (“suspension bridge” and “particles,” for instance). But for the most part the play feels real and the observations authentic. The illustrations are colorful, simple, and fun. The children, including Rosa, who has brown skin, curly black hair, and wears glasses, are clad in beachwear and sungear.
VERDICT A great start to a series that shows how everyday play can “bridge” the connection to scientific problem-solving. Useful for preschool curricula and one-on-one sharing, due to the board book format.

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