Little People, Big Dreams: Rosalind Franklin; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Naomi Wilkinson
Born into a Jewish family, Rosalind Franklin grew up in England. A model student who was curious and eager to learn, the high achiever developed a passion for science and loved putting things under the microscope. However, working in the field of chemistry was rare for a woman at the time. Thankfully, Rosalind wasn’t deterred by such a thing and she would go on to make one of the greatest ever scientific discoveries…
I’m so pleased that the story of Rosalind Franklin has been added to the Little People, Big Dreams series. She is, without question, one of the most important scientists of all time and whose ground-breaking work on DNA was revolutionary. The delightful biography charts her passion for science from an early age to her academic studies through to one of the biggest ever break-throughs in science.
There is so much to admire about Rosalind’s story, from working at a time when female scientists were looked down upon by their male counterparts to her self-less drive and determination to help humankind in whatever way she could. Rosalind always wanted to help others, whether that be through her science work or in countless other ways. At university she gave her scholarship to another student who needed it more and would later volunteer to help people find shelter during the air raids of World War 2. Whether in the science lab or somewhere else, Rosalind’s kindness always shone through.
Sadly she lead a rather short life but the incredibly hard-working and intelligent woman was a trailblazer and a pioneer in the scientific world who made a huge difference in her fields of study. Driven not by fame or success, she was motivated by her desire to better understand the scientific questions that she had and to ultimately help humankind. What a fantastic lesson to give to young readers where the value of motivation from within outweighed the motivation to win a prize. Rosalind would however be the victim of a tragic oversight when fellow scientists claimed her work on DNA as their own and won the Nobel Prize.
Rosalind Franklin is a fantastic female role model for so many reasons. Girls can see a wonderful lady who achieved in a male dominated field and it is a great biography to share with young boys to help them understand that girls can do things just as well as they can, or if they are anything like Rosalind, then probably much better. The story is told in short and simple sentences and is delightfully illustrated with bright and bold artwork. At the back of the the book there is a short overview of her life which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
Recommended for 5+.
With thanks to Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for the advanced reader copy that was received through NetGalley.