In the style of the wildly popular Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and Boys Who Dare to be Different, Amazing Australian Women takes us through the back stories of twelve women who have made a significant impact on Australian history. Covering a broad range of women from the arts, business, politics, sport, politics and the list doesn’t stop there.
Not all are famous, but all are remarkable. A sample of those included are Nellie Melba (opera singer), Edith Cowan (politician), Tilly Aston (teacher, writer and disability activist), Emily Kame Kngwarreye (artist) and Lores Bonney (aviation pioneer).
There are plenty of examples of overcoming hardship and difficult circumstances like convict Mary Reiby who was arrested at thirteen for horse theft and transported to NSW where she went on to build an import business that became one of the most important organisations in the early colony. Despite losing most of her sight by the time she was seven, Tilly Aston went on to publish six books of poetry and scientist and trail blazer, Ruby Payne-Scott, was forced to keep her marriage a secret for six years so she could remain doing her important work as a scientist.
The illustrations from Sophie Beer add so much vibrancy to these fascinating stories, grabbing younger readers attention with wonderful bright bursts of colour and intricate details.
As with Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls and Boys Who Dare to be Different, reading these inspiring portraits with your children is a great opportunity to broach some interesting and perhaps more serious topics (as each story is only a page in length you can read one a night and then have a chat about it). For older children you can set them on a path to discovering more about the women they are particularly interested in – and the fields in which they excelled.
Author Pamela Freeman has written a really valuable book for the 10+ reader that you’ll want not only the little girls in your life to read but also the little boys.
Pamela Freeman has a Doctor of Creative Arts, has lectured in creative writing and won awards for children’s writing and biography. Pamela also writes for adults and her first adults fantasy The Castings Trilogy has recently been published. She lives in Sydney with her husband and son.
Sophie Beer is an award-winning illustrator living in Brisbane. Sophie adores creating bright, fun designs with generous helpings of narrative and is particularly interested in children’s illustration. Revelling in colour, shape and texture, she lives by one simple rule: art should never be boring. Sophie was the winner of the 2016 SCBWI Penguin/Random House Portfolio award.