Mama’s Home by author Shay Youngblood and illustrator Lo Harris

Reading Age: 4-8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Make Me a World

Publication Date: October 18, 2022

A mother’s job forces her to travel away from home often. During these times her young daughter is babysat by different women in the community on varying days of the week. We learn of these women’s occupations i.e. beautician, nurse, entrepreneur, to name a few. Spending time with these ladies ignites thoughts of future careers i.e. pilot, writer, entrepreneur. Occupations not named could be discussed by looking at items in illustrations i.e. solar system. Illustrations portray a warm and caring community. Tasty foods are displayed throughout the book. My Book Eyes liked viewing different homes, foods, occupations and the emphasis on different days of the week. A recipe for Sweet Pink Punch is included which is an easy recipe that children can help make. Also there are an author’s note and a section about Make Me a World by Christopher Myers.

Strong Mama by author Robin Arzon and illustrator Addy Rivera Sonda

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 11, 2022

The storyteller is an athletic expectant mother. She shares her love of exercise, running, meditation, dancing and eating right with her growing baby. Her family welcomes the new baby and another person’s life adventures begin. This book is inspiring for all moms. Illustrations are filled with healthy lifestyle and good feelings.

Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Reading Age: 10 years and up

Grade Level: 5 – 9

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

This non-fiction children’s book highlights 50 diverse women from around the globe who have contributed to the history of art from 1200 to present. Their struggles and triumphs are highlighted in their descriptions. Under each illustration is a quote from the artist. The page spreads include an illustration of the artist and information about the artist. There is a matching color theme for the 2 page spread which is attractive. There is a timeline. This is a valuable resource for all bookshelves.

Stitch by Stitch: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley Sees Her Way to Freedom by author Connie Schofield -Morrison and illustrator Elizabeth Zunon

Reading Age: 7 – 10 years

Grade Level: 2 – 5

Publisher: Holiday House

Publication Date: November 9, 2021

In this picture book biography, we follow the life of Elizabeth Hobbs from her birth into slavery in Virginia until her death. Elizabeth learned to sew from her mother Agnes. This book unveils harsh realities of slave life i.e. Being beaten for grieving instead of hiding feelings behind smiling faces or being sold and having to do the work of three people. As a slave, Elizabeth and her son were sent to live in St. Louis where she made clothes for the wealthy. She became popular. Her clients raised money for Elizabeth to buy freedom for both her and her son. Elizabeth repaid her clients and moved to Washington, D.C. She made dresses for the wives of leaders including Mrs. Lincoln. Over time Elizabeth became instrumental in helping former slaves who came to DC. She founded the Ladies Relief Contraband Association which gave food, clothing and shelter. Elizabeth had a dress shop that provided jobs for women. She wrote a book about her life as a slave as well as her years working in the White House. She worked at Wilberforce University teaching sewing. Mixed media illustrations depict lovely gowns and artistry throughout the book.

And That’s Why She’s My Mama by Tiarra Nazario

Reading Age: 7 – 8 years

Publisher: Tiarra Nazario

Publication Date: March 15, 2018

In this rhyming picture book, the reader learns why mamas are special. Whether they encompass getting ready in the morning, going off to school, accepting wins and loses, taking care of the sick, helping to make treats to name a few, mamas are there. This book depicts mothers and children with different ages, abilities, skin tones, and hair textures/colors which are realities for many families whether they are biologically related, adopted or foster families. This book is a must in libraries.

Shirley Chisolm Is a Verb by author Veronica Chambers and illustrator Rachelle Baker

Age Range: 4 years – 8 years

Publisher: Dial Books

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

This picture book biography enlightens the audience about the life of political figure Shirley Chisolm. She was the daughter of immigrant parents who like many, had to work hard to purchase a piece of the American dream. Unfortunately, in order to continue with their arduous work schedules, Shirley’s parents sent Shirley and her two sisters to live with their maternal grandparent in Barbados. After 6 years, Shirley returned to Brooklyn, New York and attended public schools. She went to college and became a preschool teacher. Wanting to cast her net wider in helping others, she was instrumental in beginning head start programs. Shirley found that entering the political arena was where she could influence society the most. Ms. Chisolm was elected to New York State Assembly then to Congress. She was the Democratic Party nomination for United States president. Shirley was an action oriented person who helped make changes for the betterment of the less fortunate. Throughout this book are verbs highlighted in blue that will improve vocabulary and lead to interesting projects. Illustrations are realistic and match the tone of the book.

Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by author Enigma Alberti and illustrator Tony Cliff

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Age Range: 10 years – 14 years

Publisher: Workman Publishing Company

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

In this chapter book, Mary Bowser, freed slave and teacher, becomes an undercover spy for the Union at the request of her former slave owner Bet Van Lew. Mary works as a maid for the Confederates and relays secret information to Union sympathizers. Ms. Bowser has an incredible memory that aids her in communicating details without having visual evidence in her hands. The way she shares data with her associates like Bet Van Lew and Thomas McNiven is fascinating. There are moments that will have readers sitting at the edge of their chairs however nothing is gruesome. Included in this book are a spycraft tool, a mystery to solve, Biographical Information, Historical Note, Bibliography, and Answer Key. Detailed illustrations add to the understanding of the text.

 

Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating by author Rose Vina and illustrator Claire Almon

Ice breaker

Age Range: 5 – 7 years

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

In this picture book biography readers meet Mabel Fairbanks, an African American from Florida. She moves to New York City at 8 years old to live with her brother. That experience is short lived and Mabel finds herself without a home by 9 years old. A family gives Mabel a chance to move in with them and babysit. Viewing ice skaters through a window intrigues Mabel. She saves money, buys skates and teaches herself to skate. When the weather warms, she goes to an indoor ice skating rink to skate however she is denied admission due to her skin color. Eventually she is given opportunities to skate at the rink but only when white ice skaters are not using it. She gets coached and is a very good skater but racism destroys her chances of participating in activities that could lead to the Olympics. Mabel performs on television and in different countries however racism is everywhere. Her career path leads her to coach those interested in ice skating. She plays a significant role in fighting for equality for ice skaters. My Book Eyes are amazed at how many famous ice skaters Mabel Fairbanks coached. Illustrations of ice skaters are dynamic. Included in the back of the book are sections called: About Mabel Fairbanks, Glossary of Figure Skating Terms and Selected Sources.

Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by author Dee Romito and illustrator Laura Freeman

PiesAge Range: 6 – 9 years

Publisher: little bee books

Publucation Date: Novenber 6, 2018

This picture book biography sheds light on Georgia Gilmore, a cook, who made a significant contribution to the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott by preparing meals. She worked collectively with others who were interested in raising money to purchase vehicles and fuel so that the Black community could still travel in Alabama while seeking justice by boycotting public transportation. After she testified in court about the mistreatment she experienced by a bus driver, Georgia Gilmore was fired from her job. She opened a home based restaurant. All people loved her cooking. Dr. King and other civil rights leaders often ate at Georgia’s. Illustrations are large with high contrasting colors which makes this a terrific book for children to view in a group setting. Included is an author’s note and a recipe for Georgia Gilmore’s Homemade Pound Cake. My Book Eyes finds it interesting to read about how different people worked to create civil rights changes.

Pizza at Sally’s

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Pizza at Sally’s by author/illustrator Monica Wellington

Age Range: 3 years – 7 years

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 1, 2006

In this picture book,  the  audience learns  to make a scrumptious cheese pizza in Sally’s pizza store. Sally gathers tomatoes in a community garden, receives delivered bags of milled flour and purchases cheese at a neighboring store. This business owner shows readers that her ingredients come from a variety of places. Anticipation displayed on customers’ faces will have viewers also wanting to go to Sally’s for a slice. Many action verbs sprinkle this story as Sally creates her pizza pies. Illustrations are striking and easy to understand. At the end of this book there is a recipe for making pizza.