Lumber Jills The unsung heroines of World War II

Alexandra Nayeri Davis

Book - 2019

Illustrates the contributions of female lumberjacks, known as Lumber Jills, to the allied war effort.

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Informational works
Picture books
Chicago, Illinois : Albert Whitman & Company 2019.
Physical Description
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Main Author
Alexandra Nayeri Davis (author)
Other Authors
Katie Hickey (illustrator)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In her debut picture book, Davis celebrates the young women who served in Britain's forest industry during WWII, with rhythmic text centered on numbers-"twenty-seven new girls signing up to serve," "two hundred cheerful girls learn to cut the trees," "six painful blisters heal"-and punctuated, sometimes incongruously, by the refrain "two hands willing to work and one stout heart." Neither the meter, rhyme, nor numerical order seems to follow a clear pattern of progression, which lends the text a haphazard feel, and readers will have to wait until halfway through the book to learn the purpose for the women's work, although an endnote fills in needed historical context. Illustrations by Hickey (Once upon a Magic Book) use washes of color and a loose line to capture the bustle of a women-filled lumber camp and make canny use of small details (the ridges of corduroy pants; the bumps of a knit sweater). Posters calling out the National Service, the Women's Land Army, and "Women Work for Victory" evoke a bygone era. While the presentation is uneven, this offering introduces a historical chapter that's rarely featured in picture books. Ages 3-5. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Horn Book Review

Inspired by the British women of the Women's Timber Corp, Davis relates their journey to the forests and back again, as well as their daily lives learning to cut trees. Hickey's pastoral scenes are warm and nicely detailed. The text's constant incorporation of numbers ("Six painful blisters heal and strengthen over time. Two hands willing to work...") distracts from an otherwise interesting slice of WWII history. Historical note appended. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

In World War II-era Britain, young women on the homefront replace fighting men by volunteering for service in the Women's Timber Corps.Each "with two hands willing to work and one stout heart," the Lumber Jills pull woolen socks up to their knees, bid their families farewell, settle into primitive bunkhouses, and learn how "to chop and saw and split" England and Scotland's trees and haul them from forest to mill. Overcoming blisters and bunkhouse boredom, the Lumber Jills cheerfully perform their work in sun and snow to provide timber crucial for the war effort. The cadenced, repetitive text appropriately echoes the rhythmic tempos and motions of chopping, cutting, and sawing. Sprightly, busy watercolor illustrations showcase sturdy, smiling, white Lumber Jills clad in gum boots, green berets, green sweaters, and green trousers while toting axes and logs and capture the forest venue as well as wartime atmosphere. Inclusion of background posters promoting women's participation in war work adds relevant period detail while a concluding historical note offers commentary on the vital role women played in the lumber industry during the war.A rousing, upbeat introduction to the camaraderie and contributions of the "unsung heroines of World War II" who cut 10 million trees for Britain. (author's note) (Informational picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.