Today I would like to introduce you to three pictures books featuring girls worth knowing. The three girls lived in different places and different times, but they all share one thing in common – a desire to imagine, create, and change their world.
(Sidenote: I receive free books to review all the time and only share a small percentage of them with my readers. These three are very good!)
Ada’s Ideas – The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer
Ada’s Ideas introduced me to someone completely new from history. Ada Lovelace was the daughter of Lord Byron (famous poet) and Anna Isabella Milbanke (a mathematician and member of society).
Milbanke left Byron when Ada was a month old due to Byron’s reckless ways so Ada never knew her father. But she inherited from him a great imagination. And from her mother she inherited a mathematical mind. When put together, Ada Lovelace was a creative, inventive young woman.
The book takes the reader through Ada’s life from the the time she is born to her friendship with Charles Babbage (engineer, mathematician and inventor) to her work that resulted in becoming the world’s first computer programmer (nearly a hundred years before people actually created computers). It includes her childhood learning, her marriage, and the thought processes behind her discoveries.
This would be a great book to tie in with STEM/STEAM, history, or biographies. It could open up many discussions about what life was like for women in the past when they were expected to marry well. It also could lead to discussions about how while parents might think they “know” what is best for their child, it’s hard to keep the child’s true passion from coming out.
Ada Twist, Scientist
Coincidentally, the next book is also about an Ada! Ada Twist, Scientist is set in the present and is the fictional tale of a little girl named Ada who doesn’t talk until she is three, but when she does – oh my! All she asks is, “Why?” She needs to know about everything. And she gets into (and on to) everything.
This is a great book about a little girl who fits the gifted/2e profile to a tee. She’s inquisitive to the point making her parents frustrated, frazzled and mad, but who are committed to figuring her out. While I was reading the story, I kept thinking that this is the life that so many parents are living and it’s great to see it in a picture book.
The one caveat I have with this book is I don’t like how her parents handled it when they finally blew their top at one point. I think it is realistic, but it’s at odds a bit with my own parenting philosophy so I feel compelled to point that out. Otherwise, it’s a great book. If you have a gifted/2e child, get the book and read it. You’re not alone. LOL!
Diana’s White House Garden
Diana’s White House Garden is based on the true story of a little girl who lived in the White House during World War 2. Her father was President Roosevelt’s chief advisor so Diana enjoyed life (and pulling pranks) in the White House.
Diana wants to help the war effort and when President Roosevelt suggests the idea of what would become Victory Gardens, she knows she has found a way to help. With Eleanor Roosevelt, she plants the first garden on the White House lawn. She helps tend it and is even featured in the paper for her hard work that inspires many others to grow their own Victory Gardens.
This is a sweet and gentle book that would fit well with a study of history, biographies, girls in history, or character traits (perseverance, determination, helpfulness, etc.). There are lengthy author notes at the end that give more information about the real Diana as well as a photo Diana with the First Lady.
3 Books Featuring Girls Changing Their World
So there you are! Three very different books about three very different girls all with one desire – to understand the world and make it a better place! Enjoy and happy reading!