All posts in Biography for Kids

Nobel Peace Prize Winners Picture Books

9 People Who Changed The World: Nobel Peace Prize Picture Books

It surprises me that only a few of the Nobel Peace Prize recipients are represented in picture books for children. I was able to find these nine people who changed the world and, in doing so, received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Some the picture books are biographies, others are their own books reflecting their philosophies but presented to children. Perfect, right? I hope it inspires a new generation of activists who believe they can change the world. Because I know that they can. 

9 People Who Changed The World:

Great Picture Book Biographies of Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Read more…

Is Coco Chanel a Real Person?

Is Coco Chanel a Real Person?

PickyKidPix who is now in 8th grade surprised me with this question: Is Coco Chanel a real person? First of all, how does she even know about Chanel? I think she watches too many YouTube beauty bloggers. And secondly, how strange that she only knows Chanel as a brand name because in fact, she knew Chanel by the handbags and make up.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel, 1920. Wikipedia

I just happened upon this picture book at the library and gave it to my daughter who was delighted to read it.

Coco and the Little Black Dress by Annemarie Van Haeringen Read more…

Fannie Mae Hamer Book event

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

It was an honor and a thrill to meet author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Ekua Holmes of Voices of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Did you know that Voices of Freedom won:

  • 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
  • 2016 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
  • 2016 John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award Winner

Meeting Voices of Freedom: The Fannie Mae Hamer Author and Illustrator

The book also won a silver medal at the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show, a Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and the Flora Steiglitz Straus Award for nonfiction from Bank Street College of Education. Read more…

Who Dream of Flying

10 Books for Children Who Dream of Flying

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Carole Boston Weatherford! Her novel in verse just came out, a stunning perspective of the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen during Jim Crow WWII America. This is a family endeavor, the dramatic scratch board illustrations are by her son, Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

… before 1940, African Americans could not become pilots in the U.S. military.

Carole Boston Weatherford’s novel in verse tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman, the pioneering African-American pilots of World War II and of life for blacks during this time. Jim Crow laws permeated the military during this time; the SS Mariposa actually had a rope to separate black soldiers from white. But it also curtailed training and leadership opportunities for African Americans, both male and female. Top brass claimed that blacks for not fit to fly.

Of the more than 400,000 pilots trained by the Civilian Pilot Training Program, only 2,000 were black; less than half of a percent. With tremendous pressure to prove their worthiness,The Tuskegee Airmen earned 900 plus medals including Distinguished Crossed, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. Their accomplishments paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. [novel in verse, ages 9 and up]

She created a list of books for children who dream of taking to the skies … not unlike the pioneering aviators of the Tuskegee Institute. Need more books about flying? I have a list of female aviators: Fabulous Flying Females. What books about flying did we leave out? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Top 10: Best Picture Books for Spring

Top 10: Best Picture Books for Spring

You wouldn’t guess that it’s spring here in Boston given the snow we’ve been getting in April! Still, I am dreaming of spring and getting my little garden going.

These are my favorite picture books for garden inspiration. These books demonstrate that gardens can transform an environment, bring neighbors closer, and even become a political touchpoint. Ideas for Earth Day include starting a compost pile, planting a tree, or even just germinate seeds.


What are your favorite spring picture books? Are you planting a garden this year of any size? Please share! Read more…

African-American Pioneering Female Musicians

African-American Female Musicians Picture Books

March is Women’s History Month so I’ve started off with a video of a musician that is new to me, Hazel Dorothy Scott, a jazz prodigy who was prominent during the 1930s and 1940s. I could not find a picture book biography on her (yet) but here’s hoping that someone will write out. In the meantime, below the video I’ve rounded up picture book biographies of other women who paved the way in music. Have I missed any? Please let me know and I’ll add! Thank you!

Read more…

Jane Goodall: Women's History Month

Jane Goodall: Women’s History Month

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.

Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. National Geographic

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall was the first to discover that wild chimpanzees were capable of making and using tools, a revelation that turned the scientific world upside down. What’s amazing to me is that she didn’t have a background in science. Fifty years later, Jane Goodall’s work is more important than ever.

Gombe Forest in Tanzania

 Map from Betchart Expeditions.

60 Minutes goes with Jane Goodall back to the Gombe Forest in Tanzania for an intimate look at her chimpanzees. Join them for this inside look. Read more…

Gordon Parks: Black History Month

Gordon Parks: Black History Month

Parks at the Civil Rights March on Washington, 1963

Parks at the Civil Rights March on Washington, 1963 from Wikipedia

I had seen a photography exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts last year and had taken a few photos of Gordon Parks photos because they seemed really important somehow. I knew nothing about Gordon Parks then. In researching female pioneering musicians, I came across Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America and I remembered his photographs. What I didn’t realize at that time was that Gordon Parks’ exhibit was for a Life magazine story about segregation in the schools but it never ran in the magazine. He’s a fascinating person. I hope you enjoy learning about him if he’s new to you too. Read more…

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade and MLK Day

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade and MLK Day

Civil Rights Movement Unit for 4th Grade

In honor of Martin Luther King, Junior day, I wanted to share my son’s 4th grade Civil Rights Movement project. His teacher created a really great time line that I hope will be helpful as well.

I am Jackie Robinson (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

I’m not sure if I would consider Jackie Robinson “ordinary.” He was, after all, the first UCLA student ever to letter in four sports in the same season! His family’s backstory of how they shared extra food with everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of color helps to give insight into how he had the inner strength to withstand the pressure as the first African American major league baseball player. This picture book uses cartoons as well as text to tell his story and skillfully draws the reader into his extraordinary life. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Civil Rights Movement Books for 4th Grade Read more…