An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing Black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things — bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come. Ages 8–11.
About The Author
Vashti Harrison earned her MFA in Film/Video from CalArts and BA from the University of Virginia. Her experimental films and documentaries have shown around the world at film festivals. After a brief stint in television as a production coordinator, she is now a freelance graphic designer and a picture-book illustrator. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Read Aloud Tips
- Incorporate this book into a larger unit for Black History Month.
- Introduce the women noted in the book and see what the students might already know about the book.
- After reading the book, assign students to pick one woman from the text to research. Ask the students to write more in-depths bios about the women and present them incorporating photos and videos.
“The book just begs to be picked up, with its handy trim size and its attractively simple cover design featuring smiling brown girls in various historical outfits. Each leader is described in a one-page minibiography that faces a full-page illustration of the woman in clothes and a simplified setting that represent her role and her era. Perfect for exploring together at bedtime or for children to browse independently, a gorgeous invitation for children of all backgrounds, and especially for black girls, to learn about black women who were pioneers.” – Kirkus Reviews