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Herman and Rosie

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  544 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Set in New York, this gorgeous picture book by Gus Gordon is a story about friendship, life in the big city, and following your dreams.

This is a tale about a big city.
It's a tale of hotdogs and music and the summertime subway breeze.
It's a tale of singing on rooftops and toffees that stick to your teeth.
But most of all, it's the tale of Herman and Rosie.

'Quirky, soulful an
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 22nd 2012 by Penguin Books Australia (first published 2012)
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The Wrong Boy by Suzy ZailThe Ink Bridge by Neil GrantHerman and Rosie by Gus GordonSea Hearts by Margo LanaganThe Shiny Guys by Doug MacLeod
CBCA 2013 Short List
3rd out of 29 books — 13 voters
The Cricket in Times Square by George SeldenFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. KonigsburgEloise by Kay ThompsonTrueman Bradley - Aspie Detective by Alexei Maxim RussellStuart Little by E.B. White
New York City for Kids
18th out of 66 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 892)
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Nov 29, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
New Yorkers are singularly single minded. It’s not enough that our city be rich, popular, and famous. We apparently are so neurotic that we need to see it EVERYWHERE. In movies, on television, and, of course, in books. Children’s books, however, get a bit of a pass in this regard. It doesn’t matter where you grow up, most kids get a bit of a thrill when they see their home city mentioned in a work of literature. Here in NYC, teachers go out of their way to find books about the city to read and s ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Personal response: What a cute story! I was not expecting much from this book and I am not sure why, however, I ended up loving it. The story has two elements that really drew me in. First off, the theme of being in place full of people, but still feeling lonely. It is easy to feel that way at a big university. Secondly, the theme of friendship. Rosie and Herman just understood each other. I am lucky to have friends who understand me and Rosie and Herman understand each other and this book makes ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
This story is quite sad when you realise it's about two music loving animals who are both lonely in New York when dramatically both their lives go into a downward spiral. It then tracks them through their single adventures around New York City and their paths cross but not quite until one magical night when Herman decides to play his Oboe.

I simply love the illustrations in the book and could look over the detail for longer than needed. I could even see myself owning a copy of this book one day.
Brimming with heart and soul Herman and Rosie is a picture book to lose yourself in. Not bad for a book where the main characters don't meet till the closing sequence.

Herman and Rosie are New Yorkers. They have much in common, but it's only the reader who is privy to their shared loves: their passions for jazz music and Jacques Cousteau movies. It's the reader who sees their parallel lives and whose heart skips a beat at their near misses. Herman and Rosie are oblivious. So, this pair like the
Kaley Robinson
Feb 23, 2015 Kaley Robinson rated it it was amazing
Personal response- As a hopeless romantic, this was such a sweet book. While it is a love story, the book has such a good story behind it. Herman and Rosie both feel alone in this big world. Sometimes I feel the same way while going from day to day. Herman and Rosie play instruments and sing, both things I used to do in high school. This is a such a positive and uplifting book! This is one I want to keep reading for years to come!

Read aloud for enrichment
-Students could relate to the sto
There are many things to love about this book, if you love NYC, if you prefer happy endings, and if you adore picture books that appeal to all ages because of story told so well by words and illustrations! Several have recommended this, and I do agree, it’s a beautiful book to savor. I’ve read it twice, just looking and looking at all the details added to the story in the illustrations. For example, Herman works at a job selling ‘things’, and in a sketch of him at his office, there is a bulletin ...more
Apr 27, 2016 Aylea rated it it was amazing
This review originally found at The Children's Book and Media Review

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 d
Taurean Watkins
Dec 18, 2013 Taurean Watkins rated it it was amazing
Shelves: animal-fantasy
Books have always had a storied history with an ongoing playlist of love songs to iconic settings (Real, imagined, and all in-between) and picture books are no different.

In fact, with SO MANY love songs to a specific place, it’s HARD to stand out, but I believe ”Herman and Rosie” is one such stand out. For me, of the many love songs to New York City (Real or Surreal), this book DOES jump out in the most positive sense.

The story follows titular characters: Herman, a crocodile salary-man who love
Dec 19, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Herman is a crocodile who lives in New York and finds it very lonely. He loves playing his oboe in his apartment. His job selling things on the telephone, makes his life less lonely because he can talk to people, but doesn’t make him very good at his job. Rosie lives in the building next door to Herman and she loves to sing. She has a job washing dishes but loves most of all her singing lessons and performing in a little jazz club on Thursday nights. The two are lonely but fairly happy because b ...more
Full review at:

My Review: This book is a love note to music and for finding a friend to share your love. This wonderful story is told in a way that makes you fall in love with the characters immediately and feel every up and down with them. Also, the illustrations in this picture book are probably some of my favorite ever. I love the cartoony style mixed with some mixed media. Beautiful.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I think this book will find its most
Aileen Stewart
May 06, 2015 Aileen Stewart rated it it was amazing
Herman and Rosie are a perfect match for each other.They both love living in the big city, but sometimes they each find it a bit lonely. This story follows them on their daily routines and the journey they take before finding each other. This is a delightful read and I'm sure children between the ages of five and eight will adore it as much as I did.
Never mind that Herman and Rosie live a short stroll away from the apartment we used to live in... my (admittedly sweet and gentle) 4-year-old boy wants this book every night at the moment. Gorgeous illustrations (my boy is particularly enamoured of the map of New York showing the parallel paths taken by Herman and Rosie) and charming story.
Eva Kelly
May 08, 2015 Eva Kelly rated it it was amazing
This might be the best love story I ever read. Because they both lived in the city and they both knew they were out there, and they even ALMOST met, but didn't. So they just had to meet. And they did. And now I bet they can even have a baby. Even if Herman IS an alligator and Rosie's a deer. Stranger things have happened!
Penny McGill
Dec 22, 2013 Penny McGill rated it it was amazing
Gus Gordon has written a love story worthy of a Nora Ephron movie.. it's a bit of a triangle though, with Herman, Rosie AND the city of New York all mashed together (Tom Hanks could easily play Herman, this would not be a stretch, Rosie is so cool that I'm not sure who should be cast). Every page has something to tickle your fancy, whether it be the words he chooses or the incredible scenes he has created. These two unique characters come alive in the pages of this book and when they finally mee ...more
Um...this totally made me cry. Ha! It's a surprisingly sweet story about two lonely music and Jacques Cousteau lovers and how they find each other. And it's the story of a city and how two lonely music and Jacques Cousteau lovers finding each other can change it. The illustrations are great--detailed, but not too detailed, and made up of pencil line drawings and watercolor and collage in a way that's nostalgic, but in a modern sort of way, if that makes sense. They're kind of perfect. Also, afte ...more
May 01, 2014 Lorna rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
What an adorable, sweet story about Herman and Rosie, a crocodile and a deer living in New York whose lonely paths continually *almost* cross until exactly the right time. It captures the feel of New York and each page can be enjoyed at length, so much to see. Loved it!
Trenton Hayes
Jan 19, 2016 Trenton Hayes rated it really liked it
What a charming little tale this is. I'm not sure it plays as well with the under-3 set as it does with this parent, but its a nicely told little love story that doesn't go anywhere a toddler cannot follow. I found it sweet and kind of touching.
Nancy Dobson
Feb 15, 2014 Nancy Dobson rated it it was amazing
I'm a strong believer that picture books are not exclusively for children. I absolutely adore this book; it is quirky, charming and guaranteed to pick you up if you are feeling down. Awesome artwork with a variety of formats throughout.
This book kind of sneaked up on me. I was captivated by the map on the end pages with the arrow pointing to the hot dog stand, and the illustrations are great, but I wasn't so sure about the slow to get started story. But like a lot of great books, the story has to have time to build. By the end, I fell in love with both Herman and Rosie. Kids will enjoy the illustrations that really invite them to pore over the pages.

It would be great to use this for a unit on mapping or cities too. Honestly,
Cheryl Gladfelter
One night, Herman and Rosie meet and the city is never the same. But how do they find their way to each other? Full of gorgeous illustrations.
Marissa García
It might appeal more to adults than children, but is it ever darling. Can Gus Gordon write my love story?
Marjorie Ingall
Dec 08, 2013 Marjorie Ingall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-4-8
I could not love this book more. An alligator and (I think?) a goat lead separate lives in nyc -- sometimes exciting and artsy and sometimes deeply lonely -- they're drawn together thru music. It's really a love letter to the city, using bits of vintage NYT clippings and old ledgers and fliers. It's WONDERFUL. Kids and adults will appreciate it on different levels -- there is a lot of stress and melancholy, but also those moments of connection and serendipity you can still have in NYC, when you' ...more
Oct 15, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book almost made me cry.

It's a story about love that's found in the big city- about two great people (well, an oboe-play8ng crocodile named Herman Schubert and a singing girl (not sure what animal she is- a goat? or female moose?) named Rosie Bloom. Among the bustling city and changing tides in their work, they eventually find each other, and fall in love, and the worries of the world become a little bit less, because they have each other.

So sweet. SOOOOOO sweet. I love it. My new favorit
School Library Journal
( October 01, 2013; 9781596438569 )
Gr 1-3-Herman Schubert loves to play the oboe and Rosie Bloom sings, but when they lose their jobs, "everything [falls] out of tune"-until they happen to meet. There is, of course, nothing wrong with a picture book in which the illustrations are best appreciated by adults who like vintage postcards, the inventive use of collage materials, and a plethora of visual gags. But when such artwork is coupled with a story about the genesis of fri
Feb 01, 2015 Lancee rated it it was amazing
Herman and Rosie is a story about two musically talented animals that are portrayed as humans. Herman is an alligator that can play the oboe and Rosie is an antelope who can sing exceptionally well. The two animals live right next to each other without knowing it all throughout the story. Herman's plays a song on the oboe which reaches Rosie’s ears and makes her wonder where the beautiful tune came from. Rosie ends up singing a song and peaks Herman’s interest as to where the song came from. Her ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Paula rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Herman and Rosie live in busy NYC and though they live in nearby apartments, they have never crossed paths. They work in mundane jobs (Herman in telephone sales and Rosie as a dishwasher/jazz singer) and have their own interests, but both are lonely creatures. Herman’s oboe playing and Rosie’s jazz singing have brought them within earshot of each other, but it isn’t until they both lose their jobs and after a long ramble in the city, that they finally meet. Rosie is drawn to Herman’s oboe solo a ...more
Jan 23, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
A charming picture book about two similar lives intersecting in a big, lonely city. Gorgeous, imaginative and playful!
Herman and Rosie live close to one another in New York City and despite having shared interests haven't met yet, even though they can often be found in the same places throughout the city.

A lonely sort of story, this book makes you root for the characters to both find happiness and each other and the ending doesn't disappoint.

Mixed media artwork gives the story a scrapbook feel and reads like a love letter to the city the two characters share. Must see for PreK-2+.
Jan 24, 2014 Grg rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful picture books I've ever read. Even the cube farm is gorgeous.
Jan 25, 2014 Joanna added it
One of the best children's books I've seen in a long, long time.
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Gus Gordon is a children's book author and illustrator based in Sydney, Australia. He has written and illustrated over 70 books for children.

Gus's illustrations are known for their loose, energetic line work, mixed media (most notably collage) and nonsensical humour. His writing is always anthropomorphic - where animals take the place of humans in the narrative. His most recent written works inclu
More about Gus Gordon...

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