The Rest of What We Read (Women's History Month)
I hope my readers have been enjoying my Women's History Month picture book posts! The comments have been light, so I don't know. If you're sick of them, well, March is almost over, and I want to get on to Easter stuff. This is the last one. Promise. Cross my heart.
If you're just joining us, March is Women's History Month, and in celebration, my daughters and I have been reading picture book biographies of famous women. If you're interested in seeing what other books we have read, click here!
Books About Women in Science & Nature
Little, Brown & Company, 2011.
Patrick McDonnell, awesome illustrator and picture book maker extraordinaire, depicts Jane Goodall as a little girl, studying the animals around her with her stuffed chimpanzee Jubilee. Jane decides she wants to live in Africa and study chimps as a grown-up. On the last page, we see a photograph of the real Jane in Africa with a baby chimp. Both McDonnell and Goodall provide afterwords in the book, telling children how they can be involved in wildlife conservation.
Jane Goodall: A Retrospective
|Stone Girl Bone Girl: The Story of Mary Anning by Laurence Anholt,|
illustrated by Sheila Moxley.
Orchard Books, 1998.
A clip from the IMAX film Sea Rex 3D.
This is an ichthyosaur skeleton.
Books About Women in the Arts
|Ballet for Martha: MakingAppalachian Spring|
by Jan Greenburg & Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca.
Roaring Brook Press, 2010.
This book is fabulous if you have a little dancer in your life. It serves as an introduction to Martha Graham, modern dance, and the components in creating a ballet - in this case, the choreographer, the composer, and the set designer. We read about Martha's story idea for a modern dance ballet, how she worked with Aaron Copland to create the music for what would become "Appalachian Spring" [working title: "Ballet for Martha"], and her work with artist Isamu Noguchi on designing the spare, distinctive set.
"Appalachian Spring," part one.
|Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo,|
illustrated by JuliaDenos.
Balzer + Bray, 2011.
Audrey Hepburn remains an icon twenty years after her death. Cardillo and Denos show Audrey as a young girl, longing to grow up to be a ballerina. During WWII, her family rushed to Holland for safety, only to see it invaded by the Nazis. The family was forced to hide with 40 other people in a small house in the countryside, where Audrey suffered from hunger. After the liberation of Holland, she and her mother moved to London, where Audrey may not have had much money, but she knew many ways to tie her one scarf! She could create a new outfit each day! Audrey's dreams of becoming a ballerina were dashed - she was simply too tall and not the right type - so she set about becoming an actress. The book skips to her momentous meeting with the French writer Colette, after which Audrey is cast as the title role in the Broadway play Gigi. From there, she is cast in her first Hollywood film, Roman Holiday, for which she earned an Academy Award. The book showcases Audrey's style, and how different and original she was compared to the curvaceous actresses popular in Hollywood at the time, stressing how she was "just being Audrey." We see a nice spread of Audrey costumed for some of her most popular films, but we learn her favorite role was as mother to her two sons, and as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Please see the official Audrey Hepburn website for more. Proceeds from the website benefit the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.
Book trailer for Just Being Audrey.
Trailer for 1957's Funny Face.
Audrey and UNICEF
A Book About Women in Sports
|Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey, illustrated|
by Rebecca Gibbon. Scholastic Press, 2003.
Players in Pigtails is another book by my Women's History Month picture book heroine, Shana Corey. This one is about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the same league featured in the movie A League of Their Own. Corey does not base her book on any one player, instead creating a fictional character named Katie Casey to symbolize all the women who played baseball for the league, which was created by Phillip Wrigley in response to so many male professional baseball players away fighting in WWII. (The name Katie Casey comes from the original version of the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame.")
Book trailer for Players in Pigtails.
Trailer for A League of Their Own (1992).
"Diamond Girls," CBS Sunday Morning,
Oct, 7, 2012
A Book About Julia Child... And Her Cat
|Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child |
and Her Cat by Susanna Reich, illustrated by
Amy Bates. Abrams Books for Young
This is one of two children's picture books about Julia Child to be released in recent years, and it was the other book I was looking for when I checked the library. That one, which I would still love to see, was not available in our city's library system, but this book was. Coincidentally, I had just given the adult book Julia's Cats to my grandmother for Christmas, so my original idea was to have her read this one with the girls. Now two months after I checked it out (and renewed it, twice - it's due back TODAY!), we have added it to our list of books read for Women's History Month. Minette's Feast is not an in-depth biography. Instead, we see Julia's early culinary life in France through the eyes of her tortoiseshell cat, Minette. There is a decent biography in the Afterword of the book, and no quotes in the book were invented. All dialogue came from Julia's books and from Paul and Julia's Child's letters. The book is quite sweet. To see another blogger's recent take on it, please see this post about the book on Amelie's Bookshelf.
PBS News Hour looks at Julia Child on
what would have been her 100th birthday,
Aug. 15, 2012
This post has been linked to: