Little People, Big Dreams: Marie Curie (Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Little People, Big Dreams: Marie Curie, written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Frau Isa, a gorgeous, inspiring and moving little book about the famed scientist.

Little Marie was never quite what people expected of girls in her time: instead of a princess, she longed to be a scientist. However, girls were not allowed to attend college in her country – but that wasn’t going to stop her. Marie moved to Paris to study physics and chemistry, becoming a top student, despite studying in a completely new language! Paris is also where she met Pierre Curie, who would become the love of her life. They both loved science, and even won a Nobel Prize for their work together, Marie being the first woman ever to do so. After losing Pierre to a tragic accident, Marie focused on her work, developed x-rays to help the injured and sick, and won another Nobel prize. Marie never let her hardships define her, and become one of the greatest female pioneers science has ever known.

This is our second Little People, Big Dreams book, and it is just as stirring and beautiful as the first. Marie’s life is condensed to its most crucial events and themes, creating a storybook-like narrative that moves at a brisk pace but is no less impactful. The art here is strikingly gorgeous, using a soft, muted palette to frame Marie’s life of passion, triumph, and loss, and there are a few spreads that are truly, heartbreakingly remarkable. The length is perfect for even tiny bookworms, and JJ absolutely adored it. These are a marvelous treat, and we love reading them. Baby Bookworm approved!

Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel (Lisa Pliscou)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel, written by Lisa Pliscou and illustrated by Jen Corace, a picture book biography of the world-famous author.

Little Jane was born to a humble household in England, loving parents, a sister and six brothers, and a household full of the boys her father tutored. Raised in a time when girls were expected to be wives and mothers (and little else), Jane found a passion for stories: the ones her father told by the fire, the ones she read in the family’s extensive library and the ones she soon began to write for herself. The family loved Jane’s stories, especially the one she had written to help heal after a broken heart, and her father submitted it to be published – but no one was interested in publishing work written by a woman. Jane continued to help her family as best she could, but always writing. At last, after years of trying, two of Jane’s books were published and proved to be smashing successes. She went on to write and publish four more, though she sadly passed away at a young age. Still, Jane had the courage to go against the norm and follow her dreams, and is still a much-beloved author 200 years later.

A fantastic introduction to Austen and her works. The story touches on all the major plot points of Jane’s life: her childhood illness, her brief and tragic romance, the sources for her inspiration and creative style and so on, giving a richly detailed look at what made Jane so unique, especially for her time. The soft yet colorful art captures the feel of the Regency era, and gives Jane’s expressions a spark that little dreamers can connect with. The length is definitely for older bookworms, though JJ was engaged nearly all the way through. A great way for little ones to learn of this literary pioneer, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Little People, Big Dreams: Amelia Earhart (Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Little People, Big Dreams: Amelia Earhart, written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Mariadiamantes, a sweet and very cute picture book biography of Amelia Earhart that inspires all little ones to chase their dreams.

Cutting down the details of Earhart’s remarkable life to bare-bones, easy-to-grasp highlights, our story starts with little Amelia and her dream: to fly. Falling in love with aviation at a young age, she never let conventions or doubts deter her from chasing the excitement and dangers of her passion for flying. She founded an aviation club for female pilots, navigated the Atlantic both with a team and solo, and nearly made it around the globe before disappearing. And though her ending is a sad one, Amelia disappeared doing what she felt she should, and what she felt she must: paving the way for more explorers to chart their own paths, regardless of their gender.

Sometimes it’s hard to properly capture inspirational yet tragic figures such as Earhart in children’s books, but this one does a commendable job. The story is meant to focus on Earhart’s courage and achievements, but doesn’t shy away from her disappearance, and even provides a more in-depth timeline of her life as an appendix for older readers. The art is simple yet lovely, using bold colors and basic shapes to paint poignant visuals. The length is great, and JJ enjoyed this one a lot. This is a great way to introduce the littlest readers to feminist icons, and we look forward to checking out more of the series! Baby Bookworm approved!

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Debbie Levy)

Hello, friends! Today, we read a fantastic book called I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, written by Debbie Levy and illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, a picture book biography of an amazing feminist icon.

Ruth Bader is born into a world that discriminates against her gender and religion, but she refuses to accept the limitations society places on women and Jewish people. Whenever Ruth is faced with an obstacle – she objects! Disagrees! Dissents! She educates herself, puts herself through college and law school, and fights for the rights of all people who are marginalized by sexism, racism, anti-semitism, and all other forms of prejudice. She works hard her whole life, and is declared a Supreme Court justice.

This was an awesome biography of a phenomenal woman. I Dissent is packed full of information, not only about Bader Ginsburg’s life but also the history of segregation in America, what lawyers do and how the Supreme Court works, and the importance of gender equality. There are wonderful lessons to be found everywhere: Bader Ginsburg’s ability to disagree with people yet still maintain friendships with them, the importance of finding a mate who supports your ideas and goals, and that failure is a normal, natural part of life – and can be overcome. Now, this one was pretty long for baby bookworms (this would likely be best for slightly older readers), but the gorgeous, colorful illustrations held JJ’s attention through the whole book. So if you have a patient baby bookworm, you could probably get away with this one. Overall, a fantastic book about a true hero that every boy and girl can enjoy. Baby Bookworm approved!