Women You Should Know

Happy International Women’s Day! We’ve made a list of picture books featuring true stories of women from around the world.

When Emily Was Small
By Lauren Soloy
ISBN 9780735266063 | Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
A joyful frolic through the garden helps a little girl feel powerful in this beautiful picture book that celebrates nature, inspired by the writings of revered artist Emily Carr. Emily feels small. Small when her mother tells her not to get her dress dirty, small when she’s told to sit up straight, small when she has to sit still in school. But when she’s in the garden, she becomes Small: a wild, fearless, curious and passionate soul, communing with nature and feeling one with herself. She knows there are secrets to be unlocked in nature, and she yearns to discover the mysteries before she has to go back to being small . . . for now.

Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret
By Jess Keating
Illustrated by Katie Hickey
ISBN 9780735265080| Hardcover
Ages 4-8 | Tundra Books
From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job in a laboratory at Cambridge University, New York. But then she faced another barrior: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Julia Sarda
ISBN 9781770495593 | Hardcover
Ages 5-8 | Tundra Books
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published — a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Julianna Swaney
ISBN 9781101917893 | Hardcover
Ages 5-8 | Tundra Books
Growing up in New York in the late 1800s was not easy. When she lost her brother and father to typhoid fever, Sara Josephine Baker became determined to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. When she graduated in 1898, Dr. Jo still faced prejudice against women in her field. Not many people were willing to be seen by a female doctor, and Dr. Jo’s waiting room remained mostly empty. She accepted a job in public health and was sent to Hell’s Kitchen, one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods where many immigrants lived. There, she was able to treat the most vulnerable patients: babies and children. She realized that the best treatment was to help babies get a stronger start in life. Babies need fresh air, clean and safe environments, and proper food. Dr. Jo’s successes, fueled by her determination, compassion and ingenuity, made her famous across the nation for saving the lives of 90,000 inner city infants and children.

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
ISBN 9781101918562 | Hardcover
Ages 5-9 | Tundra Books
Here is the life of iconic fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who as a little girl in Rome, was told by her own mamma that she was brutta. Ugly. So she decided to seek out beauty around her, and found it everywhere. What is beauty? Elsa wondered. She looked everywhere for beauty until something inside of Elsa blossomed, and she became an artist with an incredible imagination. Defining beauty on her own creative terms, Schiaparelli worked hard to develop her designs, and eventually bloomed into an extraordinary talent who dreamed up the most wonderful dresses, hats, shoes and jewelry. Why not a shoe for a hat? Why not a dress with drawers? And she invented a color: shocking pink! Her adventurous mind was the key to her happiness and success–and is still seen today in her legacy of wild imagination. Daring and different, Elsa Schiaparelli used art to make fashion, and it was quite marvelous.

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
ISBN 9781101918593 | Hardcover
Ages 5-9 | Tundra Books
Growing up quiet and lonely at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gyo Fujikawa learned from her relatives the ways in which both women and Japanese people lacked opportunity. Her teachers and family believed in her and sent her to art school and later Japan, where her talent flourished. But while Gyo’s career grew and led her to work for Walt Disney Studios, World War II began, and with it, her family’s internment. But Gyo never stopped fighting — for herself, her vision, her family and her readers — and later wrote and illustrated the first children’s book to feature children of different races interacting together.

The 100th International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day! Let’s celebrate by learning more about these amazing women:

“Scribbling Women”
True Tales from Astonishing Lives

Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Hardcover | 208 pages
Ages 14+
ISBN 978-0-88776-952-8
eBook 978-1-77049-230-1
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, complaining about the irritating fad of “scribbling women.” Whether they were written by professionals, by women who simply wanted to connect with others, or by those who wanted to leave a record of their lives, those “scribbles” are fascinating, informative, and instructive.

The Matchless Six
The Story of Canada’s First Women’s Olympic Team
Written by Ron Hotchkiss
Paperback | 200 Pages
Ages 11+
ISBN 978-0-88776-738-8
“…the book provides a fresh slant on the history of the Olympics and on women’s athletics in the early twentieth century.” – Booklist

Silent in an Evil Time
The Brave War of Edith Cavell
Written by Jack Batten
Paperback | 144 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-737-1
eBook 978-1-77049-005-5
“This exceptional biography reads like an adventure novel…. The woman’s life is laid out logically and succinctly in this revealing work. The author does not glorify her; he shows her as a real person and not just as a mythologized heroine. The historical facts are well explained and Cavell is placed clearly in context. Her legacy is portrayed objectively and her impact is well documented.” – School Library Journal

Laura Secord
A story of Courage
Written by Janet Lunn
Illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 8+
ISBN 978-0-88776-538-4
“A round of applause for the latest Laura … which gives readers an excellent story and the broadest appreciation for the time period…. A fitting tribute to a determined woman, this book inspires readers to hope that each of us, if called upon, could be so noble.” – Quill & Quire

Heart and Soul
The Story of Florence Nightingale

Written by Gena K. Gorrell
Paperback | 152 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-703-6
“This fascinating book is filled with little-known facts, photographs and drawings of Nightingale’s personal life, and descriptions of her era’s social mores and medical profession, all of which make her achievements more astounding.” – VOYA

Emily Carr
At the Edge of the World

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
Hardcover | 40 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-640-4
“This beautiful biography … will interest a wide variety of readers … high quality full colour reproductions of the artist’s paintings appear on the right hand page, and the text and black and white illustrations detailing the artist’s life are on the verso…. The finely detailed line drawings … by folk artist Maxwell Newhouse capture the very essence of Emily’s appearance, her charming pets and her vigorous creativity. The text is thoughtful, sensitive and respectful…. Jo Ellen Bogart is able to give the reader a glimpse into the creative heart of an artist and let readers know about the person in a very accessible and readable book….” – Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

Capturing Joy
The Story of Maud Lewis

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Mark Lang
Trade Paperback | 32 Pages
Ages 8-12
ISBN 978-0-88776-568-1
“Bogart handles the story of Lewis’s difficult and impoverished life with great tact. Her declarative style says more than the mere words ever could … a lovely picture book… [that] will inspire curiosity about and admiration for this remarkable woman.” – The Telegram

She Dared
True Stories of Heroines, Scoundrels, and Renegades

Written by Ed Butts
Illustrated by Heather Collins
Trade Paperback | 128 pages
Ages 11-14
ISBN 978-0-88776-718-0
eBook 978-1-77049-008-6
She Dared introduces young readers aged 10 to 14 to these famous – and infamous – women and to what women with will and wherewithal can accomplish.” – Today’s Parent

Tell No One Who You Are
The Hidden Childhood of Regine Miller

Written by Walter Buchignani
Trade Paperback | 192 pages
Ages 9+
ISBN 978-0-88776-817-0
Tell No One Who You Are is an extraordinary and moving book…. This is a story that will make readers want to know more, and the afterword, appendices and bibliography do an admirable job of providing a context for Régine’s story. Highly Recommended” – CM Archive

In the Bag!
Margaret Knight Wraps It Up

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 pages
Ages 5-8
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day.