Non-Fiction · Picture Book Reviews · Picture Books

Titles for International Women’s Day – Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women And Born To Ride.

Titles for International Women’s Day – Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women And Born To Ride.

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Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women by Aitziber Lopez and Luciano Lozano.

Submarine telescopes, Monopoly and Lifeboats. Did you know they were all invented by women? 

Take a look at some inventions, discoveries and innovations which all began in a woman’s mind. This compendium of ideas also celebrates the achievements of women whose names have not always been forefront in design and technology. 

A couple of years ago, there were very few books which celebrated female achievement. Now there is such a wide choice that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This volume is special in that it is also a celebration of creativity and knowledge. It is specifically about women who pursued a solution to an existing problem. From car heaters to a prototype e-reader, the stories behind things we take for granted reveal some fascinating characters. 

img_8409I was particularly interested in the invention of the medical syringe. It is something we have all encountered without giving a second thought. In fact, I prefer not to think about injections, except it turns out that once upon a time they required two hands, meaning an assistant was often required to administer them. Imagine how much worse it would be if the nurse was not able to steady your arm.

The illustrations are expressive and either show the inventions in action or illustrate what life was like without them. Without windscreen wipers, for example, drivers had to stop and wipe the windscreen themselves. The illustration shows a vexed crowd looking on as a bus driver wipes the front down. These humorous pictures will draw readers in and encourage them to question what they might change in the world. 

With a historical bias towards recognising the achievements of men, it is important that we keep showing that everybody is capable of bigger things. A wonderful volume which will open discussion about other people who have created great things or solved everyday problems. 

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Born To Ride by Larissa Theule and Kelsey Garrity-Riley

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What does it take for a girl to do anything? A set of wheels is a good start. 

Louisa Belinda Bellflower lives at a time when the social expectations of girls restrict their activities. Voting is totally out, and riding a bicycle is frowned upon. However, as Louisa has a mind to cycle and she’s not going to let anything get in her way. Not the skirts which can be exchanged for trousers, and certainly not the rumours about ‘bicycle face’. 

Meanwhile, the grown-ups in Louisa’s life are involved in subversive activities of their own. 

A look into the late 1800s and the rise of women’s suffrage movements in America. The most wonderful thing about the book is how the pictures tell a different story to the text. Louisa is certain her cycling will be frowned upon and goes out of her way to hide it, but the pictures show a different story. Louisa is not the only one who wants life to change for women. 

The illustrations continually work in purple. white and a goldish-yellow, which were the colours of the women’s suffrage movements in the USA. I also loved the landscapes. Their winding paths seem to lead off in any possible direction, and they encourage the reader to dream of adventure. 

A book about women’s rights which comes through a specific historical lens. This won my heart with its tenacious heroine and beautiful illustrations. 

 

Thanks to Quarto Publishing PLC for my gifted copy of Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women, and to Abrams and Chronicle UK for my copy of Born To Ride. Opinions remain my own.

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