Roto and Roy: Helicopter Heroes

by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Author) Don Tate (Illustrator)

Roto and Roy: Helicopter Heroes
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Meet Roto and Roy, helicopter heroes!

When a dangerous forest fire burns out of control, helicopter Roto and pilot Roy are ready to fly to the rescue! They're braver than brave, tougher than tough, and nothing will stop this firefighting crew from completing their mission.

From Sherri Duskey Rinker, bestselling author of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series, and award-winning illustrator Don Tate, this action-packed series starter will have kids cheering for two awesome new heroes--and imagining how they might save the day themselves!

Kirkus Reviews

A fun friendship story for young readers fond of brave exploits, helicopters, comics, or any combination thereof.

Publishers Weekly

When a lightning strike results in a canyon fire, the job of extinguishing it is tailor-made for green-eyed helicopter Roto ("fueled and ready, brave and strong./ Her shiny wings are tough and long") and brown-skinned human pilot Roy, who is the very model of broad-shouldered bravery ("With fists on hips, and massive height, / Big Roy Thunder blocks the light"). With a "Whup-Whup-Whup-Whup-Whup!" the two rise into the air; Rinker's (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site) brisk, bouncy rhymes and Tate's (William Still and His Freedom Stories) crisp, curvilinear digital cartoons vividly chronicle the duo's firefighting heroics. The copter's hose sucks up thousands of gallons from a nearby lake and releases them on the inferno in a centerpiece scene that offers a worm's-eye view of water hitting the flames. In a crowd-pleasing finish, two vertical spreads depict Roto and Roy rescuing a stray dachshund trapped at the cliff, then returning home to Hangar One (the happy pup sits on Roy's lap as he steers the copter), where "The flying duo is now three." It's the ideal story for any reader who yearns for straight-up selfless heroism from people and vehicles alike. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Lori Kilkelly, LK Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (Feb.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-K--Told in rhyming couplets, this is a thrilling tale of an out-of-control fire, starring dark-skinned Roy Thunder and his green-eyed sidekick, Roto the Helicopter. A lightning strike in a canyon sparks an inferno that the pair have been called upon to quell. Bright cartoon illustrations reveal how Roto uses her long hose to suck up water from a lake to quench the blaze. Though the team has to swing between the lake and fire 10 times--the illustrations depict their path--they are victorious in extinguishing it. When the pair are heading home after completing their task, they observe a small dog in a precarious position, so they work together again to perform another heroic feat. Large digital illustrations set off sound words and onomatopoeia that add even more life to the exciting tale and increase the read-aloud quotient. Images appear in a variety of sizes. VERDICT Reminiscent of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Duskey Rinker's story of a human and a machine as a superhero team will be entertaining to youngsters.--Maryann H. Owen

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Sherri Duskey Rinker
Sherri Duskey Rinker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site; Steam Train, Dream Train; Mighty, Mighty Construction Site; and Construction Site on Christmas Night. Her newest bestsellers in the Construction Site series include Construction Site Mission: Demolition! and Three Cheers for Kid McGear! Sherri lives with her husband and two sons in Illinois, and she invites you to visit her online at

Don Tate is an award-winning creator of William Still and His Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad and the illustrator of Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters and Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, among others. Don lives with his wife and son in Austin, Texas, and he invites you to visit him online at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
February 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
JUV041010 - Juvenile Fiction | Transportation | Aviation
JUV029020 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Weather
JUV029030 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Disasters
JUV071000 - Juvenile Fiction | Superheroes
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Stories in rhyme
Fire extinction

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