The Brooklyn Bridge, the iconic suspension bridge that connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, was completed in 1883. It is thanks to Emily Warren Roebling that the bridge was finished at all.
Emily was not an engineer, but she was educated in math and science. She married Washington Roebling, the chief engineer of the famous bridge. When Washington became ill from decompression sickness, Emily stepped in, doing everything from keeping the books, to carrying messages for her husband, to monitoring the construction of the bridge. She was the first person to cross the Brooklyn Bridge when it opened.
Emily, who went on to study law among many other accomplishments, is an inspiration to all, as demonstrated through Frieda Wishinsky’s informative and engaging text and Natalie Nelson’s distinctive collage illustrations. Speech bubbles revealing imagined dialogue add a playful note to this historical account, which includes fascinating facts about the Brooklyn Bridge and a further reading list.
Frieda Wishinsky is the award-winning author of more than sixty books, including picture books, novels and non-fiction, which have been translated into many languages. Each One Special, illustrated by Werner Zimmerman, was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award, and Please, Louise! illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. More recently, Frieda has written the novel Avis Dolphin, illustrated by Willow Dawson, and A History of Just about Everything with Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Qin Leng. Frieda grew up in Manhattan and has always loved crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. She now lives in Toronto.
Natalie Nelson’s illustrations have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. She is the illustrator of The King of the Birds by Acree Graham Macam, which Booklist proclaimed “nothing short of charming.” She has also illustrated A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Foreword, and Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson, described by School Library Journal as “sophisticated yet playful.” This is the first book she has written and illustrated. Natalie lives in Atlanta.
Praise for How Emily Saved the Bridge:
“Wishinsky’s quippy dialogue and well-researched storytelling capture the passion and intelligence of the extraordinary Emily . . . . Nelson’s whimsical cut-paper collages, an interplay of bright blocks of color and black-and-white photography, capture a rapidly growing city in the flux of modernization. . . . Another win for the ladies of STEM.” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“A strong and honest homage to a remarkable woman.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The playful illustrations by Nelson help make the long-ago 1880s feel candy-colored vivid. And the use of dialog in speech balloons lightens the story, making it fun and accessible. Wishinsky hits all the right historical notes with careful accuracy while still molding the story to have direction and focus.” — New York Journal of Books
Praise for Avis Dolphin by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Willow Dawson:
“Moving and inventive … a vivid and relatable account of a not-so-distant tragedy.” Quill & Quire
“This child’s view of the event with eye-catching illustrations is an accessible take on the historic event.” Booklist
Praise for Please, Louise! by Frieda Wishinsky, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay:
“… Wishinsky presents a common family problem with humorous, understated dialogue.… Warm-hearted and funny, this is a very fine picture book, with a great match between illustration and text.” Quill & Quire, starred review
Praise for A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Natalie Nelson:
“Offbeat nonsense humor of the highest order: not to be missed.” Kirkus, starred review
“In this charming tribute to the quirkiness of collective nouns, playful artwork and clever captions invite children of all ages to contemplate a variety of amusing scenarios illustrated in bright colors and bold patterns.” Foreword, starred review
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