It’s Women’s History Month: a great time to showcase some of my favorite picture book biographies about notable women. That might sound like a niche genre, but there is actually a wealth of really wonderful books in this category. Plus, non-fiction written in picture book form packs a visual, emotional punch, making these books a wonderful way to teach our young ones– and ourselves– about the women who have shaped our world today.
I’m featuring a few of my absolute favorites, but there are so many great titles to explore. Take a look at your library’s section of children’s biographies, or peruse this expansive list on Goodreads.
Heart On Fire by Ann Malaspina
Susan B. Anthony was one of the most instrumental members of the women’s suffrage movement.
Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell
Josephine Baker was the first black woman to become an internationally-famous entertainer; she is also noted for her contributions to the civil rights movement.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone
Elizabeth Blackwell was the first American female doctor.
Nobody Owns the Sky by Reeve Lindbergh
Bessie Coleman was the first African-American female pilot. She was also the first African-American ever to hold an international pilot’s license.
Life in the Ocean by Claire A. Nivola
Sylvia Earle was one of the first female marine biologists, and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Watcher by Jeanette Winter
Jane Goodall is the pioneering expert on primates, best known for her decades of work studying chimpanzees in Tanzania.
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Frida Kahlo was a pioneering Mexican artist, famous for her painted self-portraits.
Brave Girl by Michelle Markel
Clara Lemlich led the shirtwaist makers’ strike of 1909, also called “the uprising of 20,000”– a pivotal point in the history of labor unions.
Here Come the Girl Scouts by Shana Corey
Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low was the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA.
Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli
Wangari Muta Maathai was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She is best known for her environmental activism in Kenya, her home country.
Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull
Wilma Rudolph was the first woman to win three gold medals in track and field in a single Olympic Games. She overcame crippling polio, contracted at a young age, to later become the fastest woman in the world.
Red Bird Sings by Gina Capaldi
Zitkala-Ša was a Sioux musician and activist. Her teaching and writing bridged the gap between Native and white Americans.
Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic person ever to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court.
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, most famous for her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad transporting 70 other slaves to freedom in the north.