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Registered Members => Book Talk => Topic started by: Franzilla on August 13, 2014, 05:30 AM

Title: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Franzilla on August 13, 2014, 05:30 AM
Hi all, I did a little experiment on my six-year-old and asked her to draw an author and then later I asked her to do a scientist, too (I'm doing the author request for another author over at EMLA). She asked me if it should be a male or female and I said it was up to her. So she did a female author. Later when she did the scientist, she immediately said, "A scientist will have to be a boy because I don't know any girl scientists."  :twitch She's been reading about Mary Anning and her dinosaur fossil finds, about the botanist Kate Sessions and her work in San Diego, about Jane Goodall and her work with chimps etc. Somehow, though, these scientists haven't come across as scientists in her mind...


So has anyone got any recommendations for great picture books about female scientists or explorers that I can bulk up our library with? Or women doing amazing, courageous things?


PS The more beautifully illustrated the better, I know a lot of these types of books are done in realistic style which isn't really our preference.
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: DianaM on August 13, 2014, 06:08 AM
ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER by Andrea Beaty

ME...JANE by Patrick McDonnell

But there's a good chance you've already read those.
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: kwlarson on August 13, 2014, 06:20 AM
THE TREE LADY
WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T BE DOCTORS (Stone)
MARVELOUS MATTIE




Oh, and I'm working on a PB bio of a woman inventor/engineer. You can send good karma as I get down to revisions.


Kirsten



Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: kwlarson on August 13, 2014, 06:21 AM
Oh, one more...my niece loves Meltzer's Amelia Earhart book.
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Mara on August 13, 2014, 06:30 AM
As an unsciencey type myself I'm guessing when your daughter thinks of "scientist" she's picturing somebody working in a white coat in a lab, like a chemist or a physicist. So maybe something on Marie Curie? But it sounds to me like what she needs might not be more historical picture books so much as seeing an actual woman scientist. If you live far away from any university or industrial setting and you can't meet any scientists in person, there might be something on YouTube that would interest her. I bet somewhere in all those Reading Rainbow episodes there must be some woman working in a lab!
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Jenny Moss on August 13, 2014, 06:39 AM
Many women engineers/scientists working in the aerospace field - in the past & in the present. Tanya Lee Stone's very excellent ALMOST ASTRONAUTS would be a related, interesting book for her to read: http://www.tanyastone.com/almost-astronauts.html .

Edited to say I just saw that she is six. So a couple of years from now, put it on your list. :)
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Vijaya on August 13, 2014, 07:26 AM
We love Verla's Rough Tough Charley!

Women Daredevils by Julia Cummins is also really fun.

I have really enjoyed Nobel Prize Women Scientists by Sharon McGrayne but that's for when your daughter is a grown up herself.

Vijaya
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Franzilla on August 13, 2014, 08:57 AM

Thanks, everyone! I've ordered some of these but others seem to be out of print or at least not available in the UK. Maybe I should check UK publishers catalogues directly. I must be able to find something on Marie Curie...

[/size][size=78%]Mara, I think you're spot on. I pointed out to her that we've read lots of books about female scientists such as The Tree Lady (Kate Sessions) and Me... Jane etc. But I don't think she had considered that a botanist, for example, was also a scientist. Her dad is a scientist (volcanology) and many of his colleagues are women, but somehow it still hasn't hit home. I asked her why and she said, "Well, on TV the scientists are always boys." Bloomin' kids' TV. This girls versus boys thing drives me mad. When she did a dinosaur show and tell for school (we've got a huge model T-rex skeleton, so she took that in and talked about their size etc), she told me, "But I need to take something else in for the girls in my class!" because she thought girls don't like dinosaurs. This despite her being a girl and being obsessed by the things! So I feel I need to work really hard to make her feel girls can be or do anything they choose to, whether it be chemical engineering or baking cupcakes or being a bus driver. [/size]
[/size]
[/size][size=78%]I might get some of these books for myself for now. I've just ordered a book about Jeanne Bar?, the female botanist who was the first woman to circumnavigate the globe - you guys might enjoy it too![/size]
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Artemesia on August 13, 2014, 02:16 PM
I haven't read it yet, but a Canadian author friend of mine has a book out about a female inventor:


http://www.nationalreadingcampaign.ca/childrens-book-review-spic-and-span-lillian-gilbreths-wonder-kitchen/




Another book in the series features Margaret (Mattie) Knight called IN THE BAG. http://www.tundrabooks.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781770495159
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Artemesia on August 13, 2014, 02:19 PM
Also, do you follow A Mighty Girl at all? There are some awesome examples of girls and women doing fantastic things on there.


https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl (https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl)


http://www.amightygirl.com/ (http://www.amightygirl.com/)


http://www.amightygirl.com/mighty-girl-picks/top-picture-books (http://www.amightygirl.com/mighty-girl-picks/top-picture-books)


http://www.amightygirl.com/books/history-biography/biography (http://www.amightygirl.com/books/history-biography/biography)
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: rab on August 13, 2014, 06:18 PM
Not really for six-year-olds, except maybe as read-alouds, but do you know the Scientists in the Field series? They're fantastic, have amazing photos, and feature scientists of all types. A recent favorite is Pamela S. Turner's THE DOLPHINS OF SHARK BAY, which features a female scientist---and, of course, dolphins. What's not to love?
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Franzilla on August 14, 2014, 02:43 PM
Ooh fabulous recommendations! I came across A Mighty Girl a while ago when i was looking for non-cutesy wootsy dolls but completely forgot that it had book recommendations - it's perfect for what I'm trying to do!


And ooh dolphins... right now she wants to be a botanist (because of THE TREE LADY and MISS MAPLE'S SEEDS) but I'm sure that'll swiftly change to marine mammal scientist after reading that.


THANK YOU!
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Artemesia on August 14, 2014, 03:10 PM
 :hijacked


It's a little off-topic, but speaking of dolls, I came across these ones that are handmade on Vancouver Island where I live. They are a bit pricey, but I really want one. (never mind the kids lol)


http://bamboletta.com/collections/bamboletta-dolls
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: LeslieG on August 15, 2014, 02:26 PM
Also a little off-topic, but a propos of encouraging your daughter's interest in science, with a bonus by Andrea Beaty talking about ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kCX8FkdKUu0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kCX8FkdKUu0)
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: Franzilla on August 15, 2014, 06:14 PM
Arte, those are lovely! But when i see a price like that, I start thinking I must be able to learn to sew and stuff... which is ridiculous given that I can just about sew a button on. Maybe I could get one of those kit things. I did make a rather lovely hobby horse for my eldest once, all with material glue though - no sewing!


Thanks, LeslieG! She'll love that. I'll show it to her tomorrow.


Interestingly, I was talking to my sister about all this and she says that in Berlin, Germany, where she lives, they just don't have the same problems with girls not having big ambitions/knowing that women are scientists too etc. The kids, the way they're brought up, and the culture is just different in that way. Thank goodness for books, then, eh? Because they really are such a wonderful way to teach my kid that she can be a scientist, even a dinosaur scientist if she wants. Although what she'd really like is to be a dinosaur vet... sadly, that's one thing she won't be doing when she grows up!
Title: Re: Best female/women scientist/explorer books?
Post by: writerjenn on August 21, 2014, 02:49 PM
I have to laugh (if rather wryly), because in my day job, I AM a scientist. Not only that, of the others in my work unit, 3/4 are women.
It's true that when I got into the field 20 years ago, it was male-dominated, but the numbers are very different now, and much more even. Hope you're finding plenty of books that reflect the current reality!