Review Blog

Mar 08 2019

Fantastically great women who worked wonders by Kate Pankhurst

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Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781408899274. Paperback, 32 pages.
(Age: 7-14) Highly recommended. Themes: Women, Biography, Inventors, Explorers, Mathematicians,. Kate Pankhurst, descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst, is back with another wonderful book about women that is a must for libraries and classrooms and will be eagerly sort after by the fans of her previous books, Fantastically great women who changed the world, Fantastically great women who changed the world activity book and Fantastically great women who made History by Kate Pankhurst.
The list of women includes Junko Tabei, Sophie Blanchard, Maria Merian, Elizabeth Magie, the London Matchgirls, Rosa May Billinghurst, Katherine Johnson, Annette Kellerman, Katia Krafft, Rosalind Franklin, James Barry, Madam C.J. Walker, and Lotte Reiniger. These women's lives and achievements, which span many centuries and many careers, will fascinate readers who may not have heard of them before. This introduction will also give children inspiration about the types of careers and pathways that they too could have if they are prepared to be bold and follow their talents.
Illustrated with appealing quirky figures, each woman has a double page which gives her main achievements, and then inserts expand the information. The layout is one that will be particularly appealing to young readers who like little bites of facts. Two women who stood out were Maria Merian and Annette Kellerman. Maria travelled to South America in 1699 in a quest to study exotic insects and her drawings and work helped to transform people's knowledge about the natural world. Annette Kellerman was an Australian pioneer, demonstrating that women could lead more active healthy lives. Her exploits as a swimmer encouraged to women to swim rather than bathe, and changed the nature of bathing costumes so that women could move in the water, rather than be dragged down by heavy bloomers.
This book would be very useful when looking at people who have changed the world and the way it is seen. What fun to tell children that Lotte Reiniger invented the multi-plane camera, a breakthrough for animation, each time they watch a Disney animated film.
Pat Pledger

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