Women’s History Month is in March. It isn’t March, I know. Let me just preface this by saying that I started this list with a HUGE, honkin’ stack of books from our library in January. Yes, January. All because I was determined to have a list of picture book biographies for Women’s History Month to you at the very beginning of March so you could include some books in your homeschool studies, if you wanted.
And then life happened because that is what is supposed to happen when you have a family, right? 😉
But March will come again and we will have another Women’s History Month, so I’m just gonna leave this big list of picture book biographies for Women’s History Month right here for you. You can bookmark it, pin it on Pinterest, share it and save it on Facebook, or whatever you want to do. It will be here when you need it.
And next year, when March rolls around, I’ll be all on my Facebook page saying, “Hey! Look at this post I wrote last year, I finished it two months after Women’s History Month, but still published it because I needed it to be finished and published. :D”
Soooo, enough of all that. Here is your big, honkin’ list of picture book biographies for Women’s History Month. (Have you gotten the idea of what this post is yet? Hehe..) Also included is a bit of commentary by me on the contents of each book. You’re welcome…or I’m sorry, guess it depends on what you think of my opinion, doesn’t it?
Picture Book Biographies for Women’s History Month
Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box by David McPhail – This book would pair nicely with a Beatrix Potter unit study. You could read some of Potter’s beloved books, do some fun bunny crafts, eat some fun themed snacks, and maybe act out some of the stories.
Helen Keller’s Best Friend Belle by Holly M. Barry, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes – I did not realize the role dogs played in Helen’s life. Did you know she was the first person to bring an Akita to the United States? I didn’t.
Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rapport, illustrated by Matt Tavares – Another picture book biography of Helen Keller, this one is interspersed quotes from Helen herself.
Women Who Broke the Rules: Dolley Madison by Kathleen Krull – The books in this series are longer, more suitable for read alouds over more than one sitting for younger children. There are six chapters in each book that I read.
Women Who Broke the Rules: Mary Todd Lincoln by Kathleen Krull – Abraham Lincoln is one of the United States’ most famous presidents, his wife is a fascinating character. It’s quite a story she has.
Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully – Mattie’s prized possession was her father’s toolbox and the tools inside. She was a clever girl that grew into a great inventor. You won’t believe what her first official invention was, we use it almost daily!
Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prévot, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty – This is a beautiful book. It tells the story of a woman who fought the odds and became a beloved figure in Kenya. She’s proof that one person can make a difference.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman – It is hard to imagine what it would have been like for Elizabeth, to have everyone against you. Her’s is an inspirational story about what you can do if you put your mind to it.
What to Do About Alice? by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham – The subtitle was How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy. That pretty much sums up this powerhouse of a woman.
In Mary’s Garden by Tina and Carson Kügler – This is about Mary Nohl, an artist who created a famous garden of statues in Wisconsin. A good read if you are looking for a book to encourage the artist in a child who doesn’t have an interest in traditional art.
Shooting Star: Annie Oakley, the Legend by Debbie Dadey, illustrated by Scott Goto – The woman, the myth, the legend. This picture book has it all.
Soar, Elinor! by Tami Lewis Brown, illustrated by François Roca – Elinor Smith is a lesser known female pilot. Well, at least lesser known to me. She was the youngest flier in the United States, earning her pilot’s license at just 16 years old.
Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange, illustrated by Kadir Nelson – The poetry style of this book lends itself more to elementary aged children, but the book is a beautiful read.
Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist Painter by Barbara Herkert, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska – Read about how the famous impressionist’s encounters with Edgar Degas inspired her work as a painter.
The Bravest Woman in America by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Andrea U’Ren – Ida Lewis grew up by the sea, which makes me a wee bit jealous. Her father was a lighthouse keeper and the job eventually passed to Ida.
Women Who Broke the Rules: Judy Blume by Kathleen Krull – Judy Blume is a pretty controversial author. She was the most banned author from 1982 to 1996. This book does cover that, but it also shows just why she wrote on the topics she wrote about.
The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Ka’iulani of Hawai’i by Fay Stanley, illustrated by Diane Stanley – This is a sad story. It is an important story to read, but beware that it is quite sad what happened to the nation of Hawai’i.
Joan of Arc by Demi – The illustrations are the main focus of this book and they are lovely. Joan of Arc’s story is one that is marked with obedience to God and betrayal of man. Joan is burned at the stake, so this may not be a good choice if you have particularly young children.
Mermaid Queen by Shana Corey, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham – Annette Kellerman learned to swim because she couldn’t walk. That simple act changed the course of swimming history for women worldwide.
Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema, illustrated by Diane Stanley – Read of the Tudor Queen who loved and ruled her country well. Her’s is a story of sacrificial love and one that helped a country recover from the bloody reign of her father and sister.
Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Lisa Congdon – I think that if Imogen had lived in today’s times, she would have been a wonderful blogger with her photos of family life.
A Picture Book of Anne Frank by David A. Adler, illustrated by Karen Ritz – This book is well done, it shares the horrible story of the Holocaust, but isn’t too heavy for kids.
Buffalo Bird Girl: A Hidatsa Story by S. D. Nelson – A look at what it was like to grow up near the Missouri River on the Great Plains for one girl. The story includes actual words and stories from Buffalo Bird Girl, along with artwork and archival photographs.
Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor, illustrated by Laura Beingessner – We can all thank Rachel for her work that changed many practices in the 50’s and 60’s like the spraying of DDT in neighborhoods to kill bugs.
Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Carl Angel – Maggie was one of two Chinese American WASPs (Women Airfare Service Pilots), she dreamed of being a pilot when her family would watch pilots like Amelia Earhart take off each Sunday and eventually made that dream come true.
Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland – One of the most famous chefs around, Julia led an interesting life. This is not a traditional book, the story is all over the page with lots of illustrations on each page.
Talkin’ About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by E. B. Lewis – Another woman pilot to be sure to read about. Her story is told in a series of monologues versus a traditional story.
And there you have it, a giant list of picture book biographies for Women’s History Month. I have to say I learned a lot reading the books for this list. I’d love to do a second list so if you know of another great picture book biography about a woman that made history, please tell me in the comments so I can add it to my list to check out!