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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at

Picture books about Jewish women

Glaser, Linda Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
32 pp. Houghton 2010. ISBN 978-0-547-17184-5
Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. Glaser’s account of how Emma Lazarus came to write her iconic poem is brief, yet telling — especially when complemented by Nivola’s eloquent illustrations. Her rectilinear compositions and poses; generalized figures; and bright, limited palette capture New York City’s opulent upper crust and the indigent yet dignified newcomers with equal skill. An author’s note and the text of the poem are appended.

Krasner, Barbara Goldie Takes a Stand!: Golda Meir’s First Crusade
32 pp. Kar-Ben 2014. LE ISBN 978-1-4677-1200-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4677-1202-6
Illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley. This fictionalized retelling of an incident from the future Israeli leader’s childhood as a poor immigrant in Milwaukee emphasizes her tendencies toward responsibility, direct action, and self-sacrifice. Sepia-infused gouache, collage, and digital illustrations genially convey character and setting for this relatable David-and-Goliath tale, though the book fails to provide context for Meir’s historical importance. (The tone-deaf subtitle misses the mark.) Bib.

Kulling, Monica Happy Birthday, Alice Babette
32 pp. Groundwood 2016. ISBN 978-1-55498-820-4 Ebook ISBN 978-1-55498-821-1
Illustrated by Qin Leng. It is Alice Babette’s birthday, and her friend Gertrude is planning a surprise dinner. While disaster is being brewed (but poetry written), Alice takes herself for a day out. Adult fans of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas can nudge each other at the story’s allusions; all can enjoy the airy illustrations of Paris in April and the affectionately funny portrait of a legendary friendship.

Levy, Debbie I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
40 pp. Simon 2016. ISBN 978-1-4814-6559-5 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4814-6560-1
Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley. Levy keeps a strong thematic focus on principled disagreement in this admiring picture-book biography of Justice Ginsburg. From her grade-school insistence on writing left-handed to her dissents on a right-leaning Supreme Court, Ginsburg displays here a lifelong tenacity. Mixed-media illustrations aptly change with the times of Ginsburg’s life and give their subject lots of personality–but how could they not?

Markel, Michelle Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909
32 pp. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray 2013. ISBN 978-0-06-180442-7
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. series. In her simple but powerful text, Markel shows how multiple arrests, physical attacks, and misogyny failed to deter Clara Lemlich as she set off on her lifelong path as a union activist in the early twentieth century. Clara’s story is accentuated by Sweet’s vivid illustrations, many of which are presented on fabric scraps or torn paper with borders of machine stitching. Bib.

For more, read Emily Schneider’s “A missed opportunity.”

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