Tuesday, January 8, 2019

NF Picture Book Revitalized In 2018

            Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they continue to be available for kids.

       I enjoyed this book, the background of the 'girls' and finales of the inventions, but didn't understand that while first published in 2000, it has been revised and refreshed in the illustrations. 
      Here, from Hornbook:
          “This updated version of Thimmesh’s collection of profiles of female inventors (fifteen in all) eliminates three outdated chapters and spotlights seven new inventions created since the original’s 2000 publication (Trisha Prabhu’s antibullying ReThink app; Alissa Chavez’s “Hot Seat” sensor to protect kids from being forgotten in hot cars). Today’s readers will find a laudable increase in the subjects’ diversity as well as a more contemporary focus. The many “personal interviews…employ[ing] a conversational tone” noted in the original Horn Book review (rev. May/June 2000) remain, as does the emphasis on “accomplishments over personality.” Sweet has added vibrant collages to the new chapters as well as to some of the old ones. The refreshed design also includes additions to the timeline of women’s inventions. A resource as informative as it is empowering.
          It's an inspiring look at women's little known or recognized role with inventions in various areas like science, household and outer space needs, as well as products that help keep people safe. Toward the end, the stories are about young students who found an interest and continued with it far beyond a science fair or classroom project. Some still wait for their "product" to enter the marketplace! 
         It's a terrific book of stories for older elementary students and up where readers will learn the innovative role women have played throughout history, despite the earlier way they were dismissed as incapable. (Some earlier in history could not even hold a patent!) Here, curiosity did NOT kill the cat, but made many lives better in a number of ways. Things invented included in our lives today that we take for granted are the Apgar score, windshield wipers, Kevlar, Snuglies, Scotchguard, flat-bottomed paper bags and there is hope for the future through an invented process that helps farmers in times of drought. 

Some Sample Pages
         Melissa Sweet's colorful collages add to the interest, including one bubble in red for each that adds a fascinating fact or backstory to the main story like this one below about Grace Hopper. I enjoyed every way she used her skills to show off the inventors. Just look at that cover; it's fabulous!

          The endpapers include a timeline of inventions from 3000 BCE to the present. There is a timeline and in the backmatter can be found a brief explanation of the patent process, a list of contests and creativity programs, a glossary, and an index. Both the stories and the added listings in the timeline will bring new ideas to readers for further research or new research. It's a terrific book!


  1. I am going to see if I can get this via ILL. Thank you Linda.


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