Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World was a Christmas present but it has taken us a while to read about each of the thirteen women who have made a big impact on history, not just in their own countries but worldwide. The defining moments in each woman’s life are shown on beautifully illustrated pages which are full of information about their achievements in times when women’s rights and intellect weren’t recognised.
- Jane Austen – author
- Gertrude Ederle – swimmer
- Frida Kahlo – artist
- Coco Chanel – fashion designer
- Mary Anning – palaeontologist
- Marie Curie – scientist
- Mary Seacole – nurse
- Amelia Earhart – pilot
- Agent Fifi – secret agent
- Sacagawea – translator / explorer
- Emmeline Pankhurst – suffragette
- Rosa Parks – activist
- Anne Frank – diarist
Each woman is featured on her own double page spread which is fascinating to read. There are so many interesting pieces of information that it is impossible to absorb everything in one sitting. We read about one woman at a time which gave my daughter the opportunity to ask questions and time to do further research if she wanted. Anne Frank’s page led to a discussion about the treatment of Jews during World War Two and a look at photos of concentration camps. When we read about Rosa Parks my daughter was horrified to hear that she was discriminated against because of her skin colour. The final double spread shows all the women, each with her own piece of inspirational advice for readers. A ‘Fantastically Great Words’ page at the end of the book explains more unfamiliar words including gramophone, corset and persecuted.
The women have made an impact in so many different ways and I was also introduced to women that I hadn’t heard of including Sacagawea (a teenage Native American girl with a baby, who played an important part in an expedition to discover uncharted areas of North America) and Agent Fifi (whose life as a secret agent during World War Two was only recently made public).
This would make a fabulous addition to a school library and / or a classroom book corner and would be a fantastic resource for a history topic. It has proved to be an interesting experience reading the book with my daughter who had no knowledge of the discrimination against women or people from different cultures or religions and it has stimulated many interesting questions. Kate Pankhurst has done a great job in researching each woman (including her own distant relative, Emmeline Pankhurst) and has ensured that a non fiction picture book is appealing, extremely informative and fun to read.
Age Range: 7 +
Author / Illustrator: Kate Pankhurst