Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines
“Budding inventors, doodlers, and cartoonists will find much to love in this fun, inspiring book.”
The term “Rube Goldberg machine” has come to mean something needlessly complicated and illogical. This delightful picture book by Sarah Aronson and Robert Neubecker shows the imaginative mind behind such creations, calling them inventions “that purposefully solved problems in the most surreal and ridiculous ways.”
Beginning with Goldberg's childhood in San Francisco and short stint as an engineer with the city, the story follows Goldberg's efforts to become a cartoonist, a boyhood dream he turns into a wildly successful reality.
The text is short and snappy. The art features the kinds of silliness Goldberg himself practiced. Together they build their own kind of inventive story. The double-page spread of Goldberg at his job in the Department of Water and Sewers cleverly shows pipes twisting and turning in a Goldbergian fashion, the words themselves twisting and turning inside of them.
Not surprisingly, the best part of the book is the actual machines themselves, featured on the endpapers. Illustrator Neubecker in his own versions does a wonderful job capturing the silly whimsy of “How do you turn off a light?” and “How do you cut your own hair?” Budding inventors, doodlers, and cartoonists will find much to love in this fun, inspiring book.