For the past thirty years, March has been designated Women’s History Month in the United States. Celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women from around the world, it is also a month to remind our children—and especially our girls—that despite what anyone else may say, they truly can achieve anything they set their minds to. So, whether your child wants to be an athlete or astronaut, check out these picture books showcasing trail-blazing women role models!
Women in STEM
CLASSIFIED: THE SECRET CAREER OF MARY GOLDA ROSS, CHEROKEE AEROSPACE ENGINEER BY TRACI SORELL (AUTHOR), NATASHA DONOVAN (ILLUSTRATOR)
Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation’s first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work.
Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross’s journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. In addition, the narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all.
Women in Activism
MALALA’S MAGIC PENCIL HARDCOVER BY MALALA YOUSAFZAI (AUTHOR), KERASCOËT (ILLUSTRATOR)
Nobel Peace Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Malala Yousafzai’s first picture book, inspired by her own childhood.
Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them.
As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.
This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.
Women in Sports
BILLIE JEAN!: HOW TENNIS STAR BILLIE JEAN KING CHANGED WOMEN’S SPORTS BY MARA ROCKLIFF (AUTHOR), ELIZABETH BADDELEY (ILLUSTRATOR)
A fun and inspiring picture book biography of tennis legend and women’s rights activist Billie Jean King.
From award-winning author Mara Rockliff and New York Times-bestselling illustrator Elizabeth Baddeley comes this extraordinary picture book about one little girl who loved sports and grew up to be one of the greatest and best-known tennis players of all time.
Anything Billie Jean did, she did it ALL THE WAY. When she ran, she ran fast. When she played, she played hard. As a top women’s tennis player, Billie Jean fought for fairness in women’s sports, and when she faced off against Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes, the most famous tennis match in history, she showed the world that men and women–and boys and girls–are equal on and off the court.
Women in Arts (And STEM!)
HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE: HOLLYWOOD LEGEND AND BRILLIANT INVENTOR BY LAURIE WALLMARK (AUTHOR), KATY WU (ILLUSTRATOR)
Movie star by day, ace inventor at night: learn about the hidden life of actress Hedy Lamarr!
To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star, widely considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. And for many years only her closest friends knew her secret. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling’s critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today’s technology.
Selected for the 2020 Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 list, compiled by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC).
Women Who Do it All
A TRUE WONDER: THE COMIC BOOK HERO WHO CHANGED EVERYTHING BY KIRSTEN W. LARSON (AUTHOR), KATY WU (ILLUSTRATOR)
A behind-the-scenes look at the creation and evolution of Wonder Woman, the iconic character who has inspired generations of girls and women as a symbol of female strength and power.
Perhaps the most popular female superhero of all time, Wonder Woman was created by Bill Marston in 1941, upon the suggestion of his wife, Elizabeth. Wonder Woman soon showed what women can do—capture enemy soldiers, defeat criminals, become president, and more. Her path since has inspired women and girls while echoing their ever-changing role in society. Now a new group of devoted young fans enjoy her latest films, Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984, and await a third installation being planned for theatrical release. This exceptional book raises up the many women who played a part in her evolution, from Elizabeth Marston to writer Joye Hummel to director Patty Jenkins, and makes clear that the fight for gender equality is still on-going.
Still looking for more? Our blog post from last month includes stories of incredible women in Black history, including the outstanding Little Leaders series by Vashti Harrison. And, as always, Tweet us your favorite reads this month @CardinalRulePrs!
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Martina Rethman is an editorial intern with Cardinal Rule Press. She is currently a senior at Carnegie Mellon University.
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