Review Blog

Mar 09 2020

Fantastically great women who saved the planet by Kate Pankhurst

cover image

Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781408899298. 32pp.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Readers will be engrossed as they follow the achievements of women who broke barriers in promoting scientific ideas and helping to preserve the natural environment. Many were unknown to me and it was wonderful to read about their achievements and even more to read the positive suggestions at the back of the book asking how the reader will speak up for our planet.
The first two pages name the women written about in the book, with small illustrations of them and the next page contains a general introduction about the women and how "they sowed seeds of change in others and inspired them to see they had the power to save the planet too . . . " The women chosen for the book come from many countries and nationalities and from many backgrounds, starting with Eugenie Clark who researched sharks and inspired others to learn about the oceans and respect marine life. Ingeborg Beling from Germany studied bees showing how the study of insects can lead to understanding nature. Eileen Kampakuta Brown and Eileen Wani Wingfield campaigned against a nuclear waste dump close to Woomera in South Australia, while poor women in India formed the Chipko Movement to save trees by hugging them and stopping the loggers. I was intrigued with the information about Maria Telkes who "became known as the Sun Queen for her solar-powered ideas" and loved the information about Isatou Geesay who led the movement to recycle plastic bags into things that could be sold.
Each woman is given a double page spread of information, interspersed with quirky illustrations and speech bubbles that grab the reader's attention and make them want to read more about the work that the woman did and what she achieved. This is a book that may on first look appeal to younger readers, but people of all ages will find it fascinating. Themes: Women - Biography, STEM, Activism.
Pat Pledger

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