Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Gus Gordon
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Herman Schubert and Rosie Bloom live in a very busy city in two very small apartments. Herman plays the oboe and likes watching films about the ocean. Rosie likes to sing and watch films about the ocean. They both like living in the big city, but sometimes it can be a lonely place to be by themselves. Although Herman occasionally plays oboe and Rosie hears it, and sometimes Rosie sings and Herman hears it, they never meet. One day Rosie is told that she can’t sing in the club anymore and Herman loses his job. Both are sad and stop playing music. However, when they finally meet for the first time, the city is never quite the same again.
This book’s ability to capture both loneliness and friendship in its city setting is a treat. The illustrations capture the busy city life of New York with liveliness and noise, but also the idea and feeling of solitude and loneliness. Tiny details of the illustration add depth to the characters and the story. The mixed media nature of the illustrations create a modern but fun feeling. Readers will cheer and sigh as they wait for Herman and Rosie to meet and be able to share their hobbies with each other.