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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

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  33 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 imm
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Beach Lane Books
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4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  87 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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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
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.
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 Gold
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.
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
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
B. att
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 Rub ...more
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 an ...more
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.
Michelle Schaub
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pb-biographies
I love the down-to-earth, lighthearted, and engaging tone Sarah Aronson uses to regale readers with the story of Rube Goldberg’s rise to fame. While entertaining, the book also shares a great message: Success does not progress in a straight line, but from a twisting, turning, “improbable and inefficient chain reaction.” This book encourages kids to go after dreams even if they seem as oddball to others as Rube Goldberg’s quirky machines. Neubecker's illustrations bring new life to Rube Goldberg' ...more
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
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 pic ...more
Diana Murray
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fun and very funny! The author did a wonderful job boiling down the story and highlighting all the interesting bits. It's very concise and well-written (not at all dry like some biographies tend to be). The artwork is perfect for complimenting the wacky "inventions" and giving a nod to the early 1900's. This book is absolutely certain to inspire creativity in kids. It shows just how fun STEM activities can be. A great read for kids and parents alike!
Erin Buhr
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A completely delightful biography about Rube Goldberg. Snappy text, an unbelievable but true story, and an inspiring message make this book nonfiction gold for kids. This book has an energy and humor to it, much I imagine like Rube Goldberg himself, that makes you smile and want to jump up and do something when you're done. A biography picture book you can definitely read aloud and one that will undoubtedly get the wheels turning in the little minds that hear it.
Margaret Boling
3/29/2019 ~ Follow the life of Rube Goldberg as he defies parental expectations and becomes a cartoonist who ends up being best known for his fantastical physics-defying contraptions. I loved the second-to-last spread as Aronson sums up Goldberg's life and challenges kids to follow their own dreams.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While very informative about Rube Goldberg's life and inventions, this book's cheeky tone and screwball illustrations are what make it such a standout for a non fiction picture book! It's incredibly fun to read and look at, making it a wonderful choice for STEM classroom discussions and parents who want to inspire their own kids to have fun inventing!
Jodi McKay
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful introduction to the brilliant, Rube Goldberg! This narrative non-fiction is told with the perfect amount of flair and humor making the subject easily understood and appreciated. This STEM book will inspire creativity and perhaps a few zany inventions, just like Rube's. A great book for the class and for the lap!
Elly Swartz
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Just Like Rube Goldberg written by Sarah Aronson and illustrated by Robert Neubecker is a story that inspires creativity and embraces the power of play. It is the perfect blend of lyrical text and detailed illustrations that together capture the life of one extraordinary man and innovator. Highly recommend!
Lorie Barber
Brilliant, often funny, biography about Rube Goldberg, one of the most creative mind of his time. Love his story, told in narrative form, and the illustrations that support the words are really top notch. Much gratitude to the author for a sneak peak! Will definitely add as a #classroombookaday when it releases in March!
Wendy Garland
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The cover is a feast for the eyes and brain. It pulls readers into a fascinating circuitous story of an impractical cartoonist and inventor who impossibly became famous for his imaginative creations. Readers are going to love it!
Lisa Trank
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot wait to find a group of kids at school to read this with and see their imagination go wild! Hoping to have a Just Like Rube Goldberg event! This book is beyond delightful. It sparkles the imagination and makes me want to create, create, create. Bravo, Sarah Aronson and Robert Neubecker.
Sandy Brehl
Don't miss this lively and fascinating biography of the man whose name has entered the dictionary as a wacky, surreal engineer- inspiring STEM kids everywhere!
Great for biography break read aloud. Love the illustrations. Mock caldecott?
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful, inspiring book that’s well written with inventive, quirky illustrations
Edward Sullivan
An outstanding picture book biography of the wildly inventive and entertaining cartoonist.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The bane of my high school physics class - the Rube Goldberg machine! So cool to read this bio! Where was this book so many years ago?
Love the story, love the illustrations. Perfect introduction to the man behind these interesting contraptions.
Jenna Grodzicki
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Filled with colorful and engaging illustrations, Just Like Rube Goldberg will inspire young readers to think big and follow their dreams. An expertly written biography that deserves a place in any library or classroom.
Cindy Dobrez
I’ve long been a fan of Rube Goldberg’s crazy impractical inventions but knew little about his path to producing them. This book delivers the goods, and with much less meandering than Goldberg might have used. Children who know nothing about Rube Goldberg or the game of Mousetrap that his work spawned, will still be attracted to the book by the zany cover art that turns the inventor’s name into one of his own silly inventions...full review at this post at the new home of Bookends Blog including ...more
Andria Rosenbaum
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Though he studied to become an engineer, Rube Goldberg thought life would be much more satisfying if he were a cartoonist & an inventor. This wonderful biography is filled with fantastic illustrations bursting with energy, as well as lots of fun facts about the life of Rube Goldberg. Perfect for classrooms and libraries in search of starting STEM discussions.
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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