Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: A is for Abigail

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynne Cheney
Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

This book is awesome. It goes alphabetically through amazing American women in history! And there are not just 26 amazing women represented because some of the letters include many more. For example, P is for the Performers and it includes two fold out pages that have soooo many actresses, musicians, dancers, and singers! Mary Martin, Grace Kelly, Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Sophie Tucker, Patsy Cline, Sarah Caldwell, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, and Judy Garland, to name a few.

Every page also has a quote by an amazing American woman! On the page T is for Trailblazers, the women who showed us the way, the quote is "I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail." - Muriel Strode.

A is for Abigail Adams, who knew that women should be heard. (Page 1)
I love every page in this book, it is amazing how many women the author and illustrator were able to include! The illustrations are beautiful and depict all the women doing what they are most known for. The illustrator, Robin Preiss Glasser, created wonderful images throughout this book. She is also the illustrator of the Fancy Nancy books! The illustrations in that book look very similar to the illustrations here.

Glasser is also the illustrator of many other ABC history books written by Lynne Cheney, including America: A Patriotic Primer and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America. Read this interview with Robin Preiss Glasser by NBC regarding her relationship with the author. Lynne Cheney is the author of many other children's books relating to history. Her books cover topics including the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and Washington crossing the Delaware. Watch this video of Lynne Cheney reading her book, America: A Patriotic Primer, to a group of first grade students in Washington, DC.

I found this awesome book when I was preparing my social studies unit on Our National Leaders for my Social Studies Methods class. It provides a great way to integrate women and other ethnicities into social studies education. I think it would be great for young girls to have this book to look at in their classroom and see how many women have had a profound impact on our country. The book opens with a short introduction from Lynne Cheney were she writes "The transformation of women's lives from then to now is one of our great national narratives, an inspiring story that our children deserve to know." She also mentions that children need to know about the things that women have achieved.

I'm very happy with this book! I definitely recommend it to be included in every classroom! It is great! :)

In the back of the book, there is a Notes on the Text section that lists every page and discusses the women and issues that were mentioned. This helps to support the historical part of the book. One thing I think is missing though, is an index with all the women in the book listed alphabetically. It is hard to figure out where certain people might be located. Other than that, I love it!

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