Want a really good research tool that isn’t Wikipedia. No shame, I love wikipedia, I just used it to write about Alice Bowman. Anyway. If you want to start slow on a topic, go directly to the juvenile nonfiction section of your local library and there you will find adult topics with training wheels. Thin books with lots of pictures and simplified sentences describing complicated ideas. In books written for younger readers the authors aren’t trying to impress their colleagues or their haters. All they are trying to do it convey the essence of the topic. And this brings us to Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.
Nothing says trouble like a woman in pants. That was the attitude in the 1930’s, anyway. When Barbara McClintock wore slacks at the University of Missouri, it was considered scandalous. Even worse, she was feisty, direct, incredibly smart, and twice as sharp as her male colleagues.
The text is concise and witty but it is the illustrations that really steal the show. Exuberant, colorful and central to the instructional mission of the book, Ignotofsky’s illustrations are delightful. I highly recommend this book as a primer for anyone of any age as a jumping off point to learning about the women who pushed the scientific boat out a little farther and have often been forgotten or written out of the record altogether.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World would also make an excellent book for the kid in your life who loves either science or wonderful and witty illustrations. And if they love both?
Jackpot! You’ve got a great gift on your hands.