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Herman and Rosie
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Herman and Rosie

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  750 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Once upon a time in a very busy city, on a very busy street, in two very small apartments, lived...

Herman and Rosie.

Herman liked playing the oboe, the smell of hot dogs in the winter, and watching films about the ocean.

Rosie liked pancakes, listening to old jazz records, and watching films about the ocean.

They both loved the groovy rhythm of the city, but sometimes the bus
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  750 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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David Schaafsma
A wonderful picturebook about loneliness and music and Magic in Manhattan. Herman lives on the seventh floor of one apartment building and Rosie, who lives on the fifth floor of an adjoining apartment building. I had read recently on someone's recommendation a book Gordon illustrated, The Catawumpus Cat, which I liked a lot, for a variety of reasons, among them the illustration style. Gordon liked my review (this is always surprising to me when this happens, and it happens so rarely!), so I made ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Books About Loneliness & Finding a Friend
Herman and Rosie lived right next door to one another in the big city, but they lived lives that never touched. They went to work, pursued their musical passions - Herman played the oboe, while Rosie was a jazz singer - and indulged their (shared) love of films about the ocean, all without knowing that the other existed. It took two catastrophes - losing a job, and losing a much-needed musical release - to bring them together, and change the course of both their lives...

Set in New York City - al
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this. Wonderful story and illustrations. Great colors and use of simulated mixed media (such as old postcards, subway plans, buildings of New York's skyline rendered from newspaper clippings.) A quick read, but do take time to savor the details--e.g., anteaters chatting at table; pig on balcony w/ cup of coffee; Rosie's record albums and an upside down book on her table you might not notice called 'All About Squid'; duck at the Mangy House jazz club reading 'The Daily Duck, the tiny penguin ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Heather Soodak
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just discovered this book in the library and was so pleasantly surprised with the fun use of mixed media illustrations and how Gus captures such a relatable a real life situation with really cute characters! My new fav author/illustrator I can't wait to read more of his books.
Madeline Masluk
This book was a very good book to read because it talks about how two very similar people get together and how they needed each other all along. It teaches children that even though there are a lot of different people out their, there is that one person in this world who you need and how similar they are to you. Sometimes you have to look closely for the things you want and I think that is one of the important messages throughout this book.
I absolutely loved this book and made several book reading noises while reading it in my quiet library. This book has beautiful mixed media illustrations about Herman and Rosie who live in New York. While both characters live in the same city and on the same street, it appears they don't know each other. Early on in the story you find out what drives both Herman and Rosie and realize they have many similarities. Both characters deal with stress and loneliness in similar ways and eventually find ...more
Cindy Sarnowski
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 00-in-class
Herman, a kind hearted crocodile who plays oboe, and Rosie, a tender hearted dear who loves to sing, live within just a few blocks of each other but never have met. They have very similar likes and dislikes but are somewhat thwarted in life until their love of music merges and allows their talents to blossom.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite new children's book. It speaks of hope right around the corner, no matter how things may look. Clever story with really unique illustrations. This book is displayed in a place of honor on our bookshelf.
Taurean Watkins
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Penny McGill
Dec 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
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
Marjorie Ingall
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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+.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book is a true gift of writing and art combined. The story might appeal to adults more than kids though.

Herman, an alligator, and Rosie, a deer, both live in NY. The are lonely solitary people in a city of millions. It's a story of near misses. It's a story of pursuing your dreams. I loved it so much I bought a copy just for me. Even if it doesn't appeal to my class, it appeals to me.
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.
Aileen Stewart
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Eva Kelly
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There need to be more picture books like this one. The illustrations and story are as perfect for each other as Herman and Rosie. The story keeps us in suspense wondering if they will ever meet each other and tugs at our hearts with their disappointments and joys. Absolutely lovely.
Trenton Hayes
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Niki (Daydream Reader)
If you are having a blah, winter blues kind of day....then may I suggest you read Herman and Rosie?! It is such a sweet tale of two talented but lonely characters finding one another. Just what I needed. It will make you feel less lonely and more loved.
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Gus Gordon is an internationally acclaimed illustrator and author. He has illustrated and written over 80 books for children.

His illustrations are known for their loose and energetic line work, mixed media and humour. His writing is always anthropomorphic – where animals take the place of humans in the narrative. He attributes this to his love of Kenneth Grahame's Wind in The Willows. His picture