Happy Women’s History Month! Every March since 1988, Americans have celebrated Women’s History Month, honoring all the amazing contributions women have made throughout time. Personally, I’ve been celebrating women’s history every day since I was born!
Here are a couple of my favorite new biographies celebrating outstanding women and their achievements:
“Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré” written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar
Belpré originally came from Puerto Rico to New York City to attend a wedding and ended up staying! She answered an ad in the newspaper for a bilingual librarian at the New York Public Library, and while there, she told stories and did programs in Spanish for children. She soon discovered that the library had no children’s books in Spanish, so she began to write her own stories! This is a delightful biography about an amazing librarian who saw a need and creatively found a way to meet it. Her legacy continues with the American Library Association award named for her. The Pura Belpré award is presented to Latinx authors and illustrators for outstanding portrayals of Latinx culture in literature.
“The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America” written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Alexandra Bye
Perkins was dedicated to learning all she could and went to college in a time when many women did not receive much education. During her years at school, she was required to observe working conditions in local factories and mills, and she saw how poorly women and children were being treated there. After witnessing the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, she started advocating for safer work environments for everyone. Her grandmother always said “When someone opens a door to you, go forward.” She followed that advice all through her life, including when Franklin Roosevelt asked her to serve in his presidential cabinet, making her the first woman to hold such a position.
I’ve included these books and more on a new book list to celebrate formidable women: “Picture Book Biographies About Women.” These awesome ladies come from all over the world and have achieved greatness in their respective fields. Firefighters, ballerinas, doctors, politicians and more come together to answer the age-old question:
Who run the world?