Go Girl: A storybook of Epic New Zealand Women by Barbara Else (Penguin)
It's very appropriate in the year that we commemorate 100 years since New Zealand women were given the right to vote that there are a plethora of books about outstanding women. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls kick started the trend (published in 2016) and since then the following books have landed in our book shelves:
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
Now we have Go Girl written by Barbara Else and illustrated by some of our most talented illustrators such as Fifi Colston, Phoebe Morris, Ali Teo, Helen Taylor, Vasanti Unka and others.
You'll read stories about leaders, sports people, actors, scholars, writers, artists and pioneers. There are current people like Lorde, Lydia Ko, Ella Williams, Parris Goebel and those who have made historical firsts such as Elizabeth McCombs, Jean Batten, Yvette Williams and Whina Cooper. It's good to see a range of cultures represented including Maori, Chinese, and Pacific Island women.
Each entrant has a header page with a quote, the year they were born and died (if relevant), and where they lived. Then two pages of text covering their life history and a full page illustration. The text is simple and short, suiting 7-9 year old readers.
The illustrations are full colour and mostly stylised. Nine artists have drawn 5-6 illustrations each. I really like how Fifi Colston included backgrounds that represented what that person was well known for. For example, Kathryn Mansfield has a dolls house behind her, reminding us of one of Kathryn's most famous short stories.
Plus check out this Facebook site about incredible kiwi women called Our Wahine: 125 Extraordinary Women.