Parents' Guide to

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Inspiring bios of female artists and scientists worldwide.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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This inspiring bedside book of bios of women in the arts and sciences is inclusive of many races and cultures. Because each bio is contained on one page, Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World is like a yummy box of chocolates: Kids can sample in different sittings. The language is clear and accessible, with some unfamiliar terms in bold explained in a glossary. Author Vashti Harrison, a filmmaker, includes avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren and Hollywood costumer Edith Head and, interestingly, also spotlights women directly associated with kids' books. By including eminent editor Ursula Nordstrom and illustrator Gyo Fujikawa, she teaches kids about the history of their own literature.

Each bio is accompanied by an illustration in Harrison's signature style. The hair, skin color, and dress of the women change, but the faces are all uniformly round, with the same upturned smile and arched eyebrows, and the women's eyes are all downcast -- even art collector Peggy Guggenheim, behind chic sunglasses! This choice does seem somewhat at odds with the message. Shouldn't the gaze of daring, visionary women be direct, not demure? Still, the art's cute and may help attract readers.

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