Review by Booklist Review
In her familiar comic-strip style, Williams introduces an array of women, from Cleopatra (69-30 BCE) to Malala Yousafzai and other contemporary figures, such as Mae C. Jemison, the first Black woman to travel to space; Indigenous Australian Olympic track champion Cathy Freeman; and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai. In between, there are more than 60 notable women featured, including Elizabeth I, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frida Kahlo, with a detailed two-page spread dedicated to each subject. Williams has mastered the technique of providing plenty of information in nugget-size chunks and adds insights through her amusing cartoon illustrations, laid out in comics-style panels complete with dialogue that enlivens the learning. Never one to waste space, Williams uses the margins for extra factoids, and the back matter, too, is illustrated and contains information on even more women. The small but bright cartoons will attract new readers, while her many fans will be pleased, once more, to travel through history with her.--Ilene Cooper Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The prolific Williams celebrates lauded historical women in her latest comic strip-style book. Sixteen luminaries--including Mae Jemison, Wangari Maathai, and Mary Wollstonecraft--receive dedicated strips, while pages at the back gather women "leaders & world changers," "athletes & creatives," and "scientists, pioneers, & adventurers." (Women from the U.K., Commonwealth of Nations, and U.S. dominate.) In the vertical margins, Williams shares factoids both pertinent ("The first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, in 1963") and tangential ("In space, a sneeze can send you flying backward"), while two characters (Dot and Abe) offer a running commentary. The irreverent tone (Queen Elizabeth's tomb is inscribed, "Not bad for a girl, huh, Daddy?") can sometimes misfire, and readers may wince at some inclusions, especially Sheryl Sandberg's quote suggesting that "until women are as ambitious as men, they're not going to achieve as much as men." Ages 8--12. (Aug.)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 3--6--Williams's latest nonfiction work celebrates real women throughout history, bridging actual events with a kid-friendly, graphic novel format. Done in watercolors and ink, the comic biographies of each woman are arranged in chronological order, from Cleopatra VII to Malala Yousafzai. Each comic strip recounts the life of their subject, what they accomplished, and how they have inspired others. The graphic novel artwork for each biography matches the style for each person: the first block names the woman, the years they were alive, and an inspiring quote from them. Each story is framed by cute animals and modern children commenting what was happening in the story or stating facts about each figure. There are 16 biographies of women, each with a length of two pages, making this an easy and quick read for young minds. The back matter has a multitude of mini-bios followed by a "Dear Reader" note and ending with a thorough index. While the choice to frame the comic with children and animals and to include their commentary in the margin is cute and adds depth to each biography, it sometimes makes the page overwhelming to view. And because everything is displayed in such a small space, the font appears equally small. VERDICT Children who enjoy reading the "Who Was?" series or are interested in comic-style novels will enjoy this book and could use it as a resource in school.--Hilary Tufo, Columbus Metropolitan Library-Reynoldsburg
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A graphic compendium of 16 strong, trailblazing women.In Williams' classic comic-strip style, the lives of women scientists, pioneers, athletes, and artists are explored and celebrated. In chronological order from ancient to contemporary, Williams touches on key moments in each woman's life. Compressing an entire lifetime into a few panels stretched across two pages is a feat; it makes for condensed (somewhat choppy) storytelling, but Williams' humorous touches lighten the format. Bright, intricate cartoons are infused with conversational text while chatty birds line the edges of the panels, chirping extra facts. A pair of dark-skinned pals, Dot and Abe, frolic along the bottom, adding commentary and forward motion to encourage readers to keep turning the pages. Alas, of the 16 highlighted females, most are familiar names, including Anne Frank, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Helping to diversify the gallery are such figures as Frida Kahlo, Wangari Maathai, and Mae Jemison. Williams acknowledges the difficult nature of choosing a select list; she includes brief information about 59 others in the back along with a challenge to readers to find more heroic women who have inspired them.This animated volume will surely rouse future change-makers. (index) (Informational picture book. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.