Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders is the third book in the ‘Fantastically Great’ series by award-winning author and illustrator Kate Pankhurst.
What do you want be when you grow up? Activist, designer, engineer, pilot, scientist, explorer, doctor, inventor, veterinarian, teacher? The truth is you can be absolutely anything you want if you work hard enough. It wasn’t always easy for women to follow their dreams but sometimes you mustn’t take no for an answer. Throughout history, trail-blazing and pioneering women have been succeeding and achieving against the odds and have literally become working wonders…
Pankhurst delivers an inspiring and information-packed non-fiction picture book that delves into the lives of thirteen women throughout history who have ‘worked wonders’. From risk-taking French volcanologist Katia Krafft to German-born naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian to Japanese mountain climber Junko Tabei, the featured women make for one big celebration of history-makers and pioneers who were determined to not let anyone or anything stand in the way of their ambitions and dreams, including overcoming gender and racial prejudices.
There are so many wonderful reasons for children, both girls and boys, to read this book. All children need to learn about brilliant women who often do not receive the recognition they deserve - just ask Elizabeth Magie whose board game idea was stolen by Charles Darrow, or Rosalind Franklin whose ground-breaking work on DNA was largely credited to male scientists. One man who valued a woman above anything else was astronaut John Glenn who refused to fly into space until NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson had given her approval to the numbers.
The insightful stories will empower and inspire young girls and emphasise to boys that their female counterparts are just as capable of succeeding and achieving, whether it be at inventing products, making movies or exploring the planet. Stories encompass a wide-ranging group of women, some well known, others less so. All of these stories need to be heard and Pankhurst does a wonderful job of retelling them for a young audience. Even as an adult reader, I loved finding out about Annette Kellerman, The MatchGirls and Dr. James Barry.
Very attractive and hugely appealing, the double page spreads are bursting with colourful illustrations and bite-sized chunks of informative text. What can sometimes seem busy quickly becomes clear as you follow arrows around the pages that guide the reader through the stories.
Full of brilliant role-models, superb messages and fantastic stories. This empowering and inspirational read will have children feeling and believing that anything is possible if they put their minds to it.
Recommended for 7+.