Sometimes I fear that there are so many books being written right now about all the things girls can do…that boys are eventually going to feel left out. What do you think? Probably not, right? But I do think that these books are useful not just for girls but for boys as well…to let them know there’s competition out there!
Which brings me to the two books I wanted to share with you today – Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone.
We all can remember, I think, the stories from World War II about Rosie the Riveter, a fictional character who depicted women working to help the war effort. Well, Rosie Revere, I think it is safe to say, is a role model for a new generation – a generation of young women who know no limits to what it is possible to achieve – all you have to do is give it your best.
Rosie Revere wants to be an engineer – she LOVES to build things. But she has her spirits dampened when she thinks that her inventions aren’t any good. Until the day her beloved Great-Great-Aunt Rose turns up. Rose shares her one regret with Rosie – that she had never flown! Well, Rosie is certain that she can make her Aunt’s wish come true and so, she sets to work. Will she succeed?
Once again, we have a book that provides so many opportunities for conversations with our children. What do they like to build? Do they always succeed? And why, if they don’t, that’s okay.
Illustrated by the talented David Roberts, Rosie is immediately someone that children can identify with and the illustrations themselves could provide lots of talking points and spark ideas in your child for possible projects – just not, maybe, a cheese-copter!
And from budding engineers we turn our attention now to…
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in 1849. In Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? Tanya Lee Stone gives a short but very clear picture of the early life of Elizabeth Blackwell and her decision to go to medical school. No one thought that it was suitable for a woman to be a doctor in the 1840’s. But Elizabeth showed them all. Against all opposition and many rejections at medical schools that she applied to, Elizabeth showed that a strong will and perseverance was what she needed to succeed.
Tanya Stone has a good teacher’s guide on her website with thoughtful questions that could also be used at home to encourage and/or spur conversation while reading the book.
Caldecott Honor illustrator Marjorie Priceman uses bright colors and free flowing lines to interject an element of whimsy that will certainly appeal to children. Especially interesting, I think, are the wonderful facial expressions she puts on people – you know just exactly how they feel about the idea of a woman doctor!