Hello, friends! Our book today is Make Herstory, written by Giavanna Grein and illustrated by Stephanie O’Donnell, a book of girl-power affirmations for young readers.
Welcome to the world, girl! It’s full of endless possibilities for you, even if you may have to fight sometimes to achieve them. See, oftentimes you will be told that, as a girl, you can’t – but don’t you believe it. Girls can do anything, from excelling in science and technology, creating beautiful pieces of art and music, being victorious athletes, lifesaving first responders, bold lawyers, or world-changing activists. So don’t be afraid to work hard, raise your voice, and chase your dreams; every girl has the power to make HERstory.
Readers will know that we love a book with a strong feminist message, and this one has decent concept. As the rhyming texts describes the many occupations and areas of expertise that girls can make their mark in – a healthy mix of science, government, the arts, athletics, and more – a single, red-haired young women is shown in one of the roles mentioned on the adjacent page. It’s a good concept, illustrating that each girl has the potential within her to be great in any number of things. However, this limited character focus is unfortunately to the book’s detriment as well: since a sole white character is the focus, the very few women of color depicted in the illustrations are limited to the background, and even then, they are noticeably scarce. Even in crowd scenes, such as the protest march shown both on the cover and within the book, it’s difficult to find a person of color in a sea of white faces. As intersectionality is still very much an issue in the current feminist movement, this lack of diversity is disappointing, especially in such otherwise visually dynamic artwork. The text also reads very well, despite a few rhythmic missteps. The length was fine, and JJ did enjoy being able to explore the various professions. This is a solid effort with a strong message and, despite its fumbles, worth a look for young feminists and their caregivers. Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)