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Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines
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Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  360 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Discover how Rube Goldberg followed his dreams to become an award-winning cartoonist, inventor, and even an adjective in the dictionary in this inspiring and funny biographical picture book.

Want to become an award-winning cartoonist and inventor? Follow your dreams, just like Rube Goldberg! From a young age, Rube Goldberg had a talent for art. But his father, a German
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Beach Lane Books
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four Stars -- with one big issue!

I'm not going to write a review of the story and illustrations -- they are excellent and you can read other reviews here for more on why they are excellent. I give it four stars. HOWEVER!!!...

I think the book itself has a huge fault and that may not be the fault of the author or illustrator it may be down to the publishing company and whoever designed the cover etc. Namely, one of Goldberg's cartoon illustrations they chose is, I feel, inappropriate for a
Richie Partington
Richie’s Picks: JUST LIKE RUBE GOLDBERG: THE INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF THE MAN BEHIND THE MACHINES by Sarah Aronson and Robert Neubecker, ill., Beach Lane, March 2019, 48p., ISBN: 978-1-4814-7668-3

“But maybe more than anything else, everyone loved reading about Rube’s alter ego, Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts.
The eccentric professor invented one intricate machine after another, and none of them were straightforward. In fact, they were the opposite of straightforward and often disregarded the
Liza Wiemer
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A picture book for all ages? Absolutely! This biography of Rube Goldberg inspires on many different levels. It shows how important it is not to give up on your dreams. It shows how being creative and imaginative can be a fun, transformative experience. It shows that it's okay to think outside the box. The illustrations are perfect for Sarah Aronson's words and will gives the reader a lot to look at and follow. I am so happy to see that this book is on many "best" lists for 2019. Definitely ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rube Goldberg was an inventor who never invented anything except laughter and joy through his "improbable and inefficient chain reaction" obstacle courses, which ended up making sense (in some weird way!). This is great STEM picture book for older reading who are looking into getting inspired and creating wacky inventions. Also, this book presents kids with the idea of following you dreams and loving what you do, no matter what.
A vivid look at inventor Rube Goldberg. This biography will be very appealing due to its colorful and imaginative illustrations.
Laura Harrison
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
An absolutely spectacular biography. Robert Neubecker's illustrations are detailed, whimiscal and so creative.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rube Goldberg always wanted to draw, but his german immigrant father insisted that Rube get a college education, so Rube became an engineer. But after a few years of crawling through mines and drawing pipe systems, Rube moved to New York and got a job with a newspaper as a cartoonist, becoming famous for is drawings of outlandish inventions for doing simple things the hard way.

Sara Aronson's simply told biography is carried beautifully through Robert Neubecker's illustrations. Keeping with
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun book! Like many, I grew up hearing Rube Goldberg used as an adjective for complex contraptions. Who knew the man was a true creative who refused to take no for an answer? Fun, detailed illustrations bring to life the book’s lively words (and on one spread prompt the reader to playfully turn the book from side-to-side to follow the story). A great story that will prompt discussion of the power of play, dreaming big and persevering.
I LOVE THIS BOOK! I learned so much about this man who is synonymous with invention that astounded me. How did I not know? But it's not just the facts, it's the way Sarah Aronson weaved together a story of grit, creativity, and hope and Robert Neubecker brought to life in his illustrations that makes this book SHINE! So fun, so innovative...just like Rube Goldberg. Add this one to your classroom library and you'll spark creativity and perseverance in so many young readers.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The best children's book on Rube Goldberg.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun, thoughtful, and very informative picture book. It taught me a lot - and I enjoyed the reading. Somehow I missed learning about Rube Goldberg. This was a quick way to catch up.
Lara Samuels
Dec 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book itself is well written and would have been a good STEM inspiration. This is not a recommended purchase. Out of 50,000 cartoons (according to the book) the best to feature on the end prominently feature a gun pointing at the street car driver’s head. It was a terrible artistic choice that leaves this book off the order list.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit, jnf-bio
Overall a decent biography of Rube Goldberg and an excellent introduction to him and his complicated rube goldberg machines. I found the biographical information quite standard and almost forgettable, but the art--especially the double page spreads--featuring the machines designed to solve a problem (getting the holes in doughnuts, cutting hair, etc) absolutely delightful, and I can picture a parent/caregiver/teacher and kid spending a good amount of time talking about cause and effect/how ...more
Ben Truong
Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines is a children's picture book written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Robert Neubecker. It chronicles the life of Rube Goldberg, a man who’s crazy machine made him a household name.

Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg, known best as Rube Goldberg, was an American cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor. Goldberg is best known for his popular cartoons depicting complicated gadgets performing simple tasks
In her beginning pages, Sarah Aronson describes artist and inventor Rube Goldberg like this: “In a funny way, his life was just like one of his famous inventions: an improbable and inefficient chain reaction that ends up making perfect sense. Goldberg immersed himself in drawing in his younger years, but his parents didn’t support his plans to become a cartoonist, so he chose engineering. After a very brief time, he quit his job to follow his dream, to draw. And he did. After doing cleaning work ...more
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Every year Purdue (my Alma Mater) has a Rube Goldberg competition. It’s always fascinating to see what imaginative contraptions the teams create. But even though I’ve followed this for years, I never knew Rube Goldberg’s story. Happily, after reading this, I now do! I know that his true aspiration was to be a “great cartoonist for a big-time newspaper.” Unfortunately, his family had other ideas, so to please them he became an engineer. But since he was an engineer who dreamed of drawing, he soon ...more
Patricia Powell
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! In her sparkling voice, the author tells us "his life was just like one of his famous inventions: an improbable and inefficient chain reaction that ends up making perfect sense." The author has left room for the illustrator to depict outrageous inventions (and I wonder what kind of illustrator notes the author included). The reader (or more likely, the listener/viewer) can follow
"How do you Cut your own Hair?"
A. the cat chases the mouse who bounds onto a suspended platform
Carol  Vanhook
How do you become an inventor without inventing anything, at all? This is the story of Rube Goldberg, who did just that. Considered the Dean of Cartoonist, he created over 50, 000 cartoons in his lifetime. As a child, he loved art and cartooning. Instead of studying art in college, he wanted to make his dad happy, so he received an engineering degree from the University of California. He was never happy with engineering jobs. Instead, he began working in a newspaper office, and as his chain ...more
Eileen Meyer
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I ADORE this fascinating story of Rube Goldbert! His advice that "You have to have courage to be a creator" is spot-on for young readers to take to heart as they dream of what they might want to accomplish one day. Sarah Aronson's story-telling is lively and insightful; her prose pulls you into Rube's life story. How did I not know anything about this amazing man? Robert Neubecker's illustrations are incredible; each page is a treat for your eyes. Neubecker's illustrations of ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-6-non-fiction
What an entertaining story about a creative, unique inventor who always challenged himself. Shy young Rube Goldberg sounds like the typical artist, but that's not so! He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, and yet once he was a huge success he moved on. The inventions he created are outlandishly complicated, why would one pick the most complicated way to accomplish a simple task? Author Sarah Aronson's message about Rube Goldberg at the end of the story, " Figure out what you want. Work as hard as ...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am enjoying reading the various biographies put out in picture book format which allows an introduction of sorts for all ages. Just Like Rube Goldberg is no exception. It was a wonderful way to get a glimpse into a man who did not give up on his dream to be a cartoonist but also I learned about his alter ego Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts who was the one who shared Rube Goldberg’s complicated contraptions to complete simple tasks. The end cover includes actual drawings and at the back ...more
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay. How did I never hear of Rube Goldberg until now? He is a genius! In an unusual way. An inventor who never actually made any of his inventions, an engineer who never engineered one of his designs... and yet he was wildly successful! Why? Well, because (like the book says) inventing doesn't only require gears and springs. The kind of inventing Goldberg did involved the brain, the imagination, and a good sense of humor.

This is an AMAZING book if you want a good, small taste of who Rube
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a cute little biography on Rube Goldberg’s life that features some wonderful art work and Rube’s cartoons on the end pages! It lost a star from me though because in the “Got more questions about Rube Goldberg?” section, they mention that his son Tom changed his last name to George which was his brother’s first name, but the best part of the story is that George wanted to be like his brother, so he changed his name to George George! They missed out on Rube Goldberg’s son George George ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a cool story. I enjoy Learning about Rube, and putting a man to the contraption. (Go to Pinterest and type Goldberg Machine...and oh the time you will have!)
Also, Rube went to school and tried to make his family proud with a fancy degree, but his passion was art and creations. And I love that his father saw that and though he knew he son needed to be solvent, he wanted him to be happy! It is fun to read the comics (You might needs a little magnifying glass.. the Shakespeare comic
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a good picture book biography! I didn't realize how much I didn't know about Rube Goldberg. I always assumed he had actually built the machines, which is not true. And his alter ego name of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts is LITERALLY THE BEST ALTER EGO NAME EVER.

It's just delightful. The illustrations are great, especially of some of the machines. And while there's not a ton of text, there is a lot to learn.

I'm bringing this on school visits and would possibly use it as a read
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited when I saw the Sarah Aronson's new book was on Rube Goldberg. I get such a kick out of Rube Goldberg machines. I had never done any research on where his idea came from, and ended up learning so much reading this wonderful picture book biography.

Rube Goldberg is an artist, engineer and inventor. He followed his dreams and in doing so created something wonderful and made the people laugh.

This picture book would make a fun read as students are working on understanding levers and
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Zany and energetic, this really fun book captures the spirit of the irrepressible Rube Goldberg and his wacky cartoon machines. Robert Neubecker does a terrific job of putting his own spin on Goldberg's signature style while representing it wonderfully.

Excellent back matter includes extensive additional biographical information and source notes. Don't miss the reproductions of actual Goldberg cartoons inside the front and back cover.

Perfect for STEM classes, and for writing and drawing prompts.
Beth Anderson
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There’s tons of joy in this story with lively text and spunky, engaging illustrations. Rube Goldberg managed to combine his love of comics with his engineering education. I love how Aronson found a unique path through Goldberg’s life (see opening) with the parallel between his machines and his life. To me, that’s what makes a biography interesting and more than the usual story of a life. What a great book to indulge the imagination, spark curiosity, and inspire creativity! And such a great ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Goldberg's father wanted him to be an engineer so he became one, but he didn't like being an engineer so he quit after 6 months. He wanted to be a cartoonist. So, after working as an office boy in a San Francisco newspaper he decides to go to New York to become a cartoonist. He lands a job at a big newspaper and creates a character, Mr. Butts who engineers the weirdest and most complicated inventions and Mr. Goldberg becomes a celebrity. According to the back matter, "Mouse Trap" was inspired by ...more
Katey Howes
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This eye-catching, creative biography does so much more than tell the tale of Rube Goldberg's life. Through Goldberg's perseverance, imagination, irreverence and creativity, readers learn to think about logic, engineering, and problem-solving in all new ways. Readers will want to pore over the illustrations repeatedly, examining the details of Rube's comics and creations. The back matter provides extra historical information and further details of Goldberg's life and accomplishments. A great ...more
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Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published three novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe.

Her newest book is the first in a series called The Wish List! Book One is The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever! I'm so excited to