Women’s history month just ended, so now is the perfect time to keep teaching and reading about women. Here are seven engaging picture books about women who discovered, pioneered, and pursued their dreams. Read them all!
The House that Jane Built by Tanya Lee Stone
Jane Adams’ story is inspiring to adults as well as children. She grew up wealthy, yet she used her wealth to build a safe place for poor families and children. She provided food, work for immigrants, and schooling for teenagers with day jobs. This is a wonderful book to show children how to give, and think of others. I never knew of her influence and contributions, I am glad I know now.
To Order this Book on Amazon, click here: The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams
Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle
Maria Merian was the first person to discover and explain butterfly metamorphosis to the world. In her era no one, especially a woman, studied insects. Her drawings and research changed the medieval way of thinking about nature. This book is poetic, and combines science concepts into a biography. The back story about her life at the end enriches the reader’s experience.
To Order this book on Amazon, click here: Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian
Sewing Stories: Harriett Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist by Barbara Herkert
Harriett Powers was a slave in Athens Georgia. She became a renowned quilter when a school teacher saw her quilt at a fair and offered to buy it. The teacher wrote down the stories Harriett had represented on the quilt to display in a museum. Today, Harriet’s quilts hand in the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. The story is engaging, and there are facts printed on quilt squares throughout the illustrations to give more details. Sewing Stories is a powerful story and stunningly designed book.
To Order this book from Amazon click here: Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers’ Journey from Slave to Artist
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle
Drum Dream Girl is about Cuba’s first famous female drummer. She broke the outdated rule that only men could be drummers. The book is rhythmic, poetic, with a beat suitable for an engaging read aloud. The illustrations are vividly colorful and alive with movement.
To Order this Book on Amazon, click here: Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller
Clarksville is the hometown of the great Wilma Rudolph, the Gold Medalist from the 1960 Olympic games. In this book, two girls are competing to be the fastest runners, just like their hero Wilma. The girls learn about strength and friendship in this fictional picture book. The back of the book features pictures of Wilma in the Clarksville Parade after her win. The connection from present day hero to history is well done.
To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
Mary Cassatt- Extraordinary Impressionist Painter by Barbara Herkert
This is a lovely account of the Mary Cassatts life and striving to become an artist. It was not acceptable for women to paint, and she received harsh reviews of her first efforts. She kept painting, and keenly observing life in order to capture it. The illustrations are done in Mary’s own style of painting. This is a lovely book to launch a lesson on Cassatt and her work.
To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter
Nothing But Trouble- The Story of Althea Gibson by Sue Stauffacher
Althea Gibson was the first Africa American woman to win Wimbledon. Her story is so powerful, she was discovered on the streets of Harlem hitting hard and accurate ping pong balls. A few people saw her athletic talent, and invested in her life and future. She learned to play tennis, and worked very hard against many racial barriers to win Wimbledon. She is a woman all children should know about.
To Purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Nothing but Trouble: The Story of Althea Gibson