In the last few years there has been a huge surge in children’s books about inspirational women, and as a result there is now a lot of choice on library an bookshop shelves. Here are some recent releases you might want to consider.
In Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders (Bloomsbury Children’s Books), the third installment of her bestselling series, Kate Pankhurt focuses on women who were pioneers in their respective careers and therefore simultaneously challenging social barriers. The book introduces readers to inspirational women from an eclectic selection of industries, from creating animation to studying volcanoes. Even match box girls are included, and while their career might not be one to be envied, their inspiring work on workers’ rights is brilliantly documented. Bursting with energy and colour, with a really dynamic format, this is a brilliantly engaging read for younger readers. Another book that focus on an unusual choice of career for a woman, at least in her own time, is the striking The Bluest of Blues by Fiona Robinson (Abrams), which is a picture book biography of Anna Atkins, a British botanist and photographer, who published the first ever book of photography, in 1843. Illustrated mainly in hues of blue, this is an absolutely stunning book; Atkins’ subject of study allows Robinson to create intricate illustrations, showcasing her talent. There is an fascinating note on Robinson’s artistic process at the end of the book. Don’t miss out the exquisite endpapers! Like The Bluest of Blues, The Brontës by Anna Doherty (Wren & Rook) is written in the present tense, making this introduction to the sisters and their lives and work really accessible to young readers. Despite the nineteenth century premise, the artwork, created using a mixture of hand drawing, digital work and with an innovative use of texture, gives a contemporary feel to the story which again helps make the book more accessible. The background information provided it at the end as to why the Brontës were in many ways ahead of their time also gives great context. Another literary pioneer is the subject of a book from a new series from Quarto, who have led the way for much of the Inspiring Women published with their ground-breaking “Little People, Big Dream” series. This new series for older readers is called”Work it, Girl”, and its first title is Boss the Bestseller List like J.K. Rowling, written by Caroline Moss and illustrated by Sinem Erkas. With lots of information, quotes, and 10 key lessons to learn from her life and work, this is an engaging read which is accompanied by unusual paper collage artwork.
Source: review copies sent from publisher (“The Brontës” was sent at my request)