Fill your little one’s library with inspiration
From the story of Charles Darwin aboard the Beagle to a glimpse at the extraordinary life of Josephine Baker, we have a collection of picture book biographies sure to inspire and educate your budding young reader.
Charles Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes | Abrams Books
Charles Darwin was a scientist by profession but an explorer at heart. At age 22, Darwin embarked on his first voyage aboard a ship called the Beagle. This picture book follows Charles as he explores South America for the first time, collecting insects, galloping with Gauchos, digging up dinosaur bones, eating armadillo for breakfast, and making early discoveries related to evolution and natural selection. He encounters a volcano, a glacier and an earthquake and survives a harrowing five-year journey before returning home to England, determined to devote his life to the natural world. Complete with mesmerizing map work charting his voyage, the biography communicates Darwin’s ideas and discoveries with gentle illustrations that capture his admiration for the world around him.
“Fiona Robinson has created an originally illustrated, empathetically produced tale of a significant character in our history. Highlighting this incredible story of an eighteenth century young woman in complementary mixed media illustrations makes for a truly engaging read.” picture books blogger
Ada’s Ideas: The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer by Fiona Robinson | Abrams Books
Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) was the daughter of Lord Byron, a poet and Anna Isabella Milbanke, a mathematician. Her parents separated when she was young and her mother insisted on a logic-focused education, rejecting Byron’s “mad” love of poetry, but Ada remained fascinated with her father and considered mathematics “poetical science.” Via her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage, she became involved in “programming” his Analytical Engine, a precursor to the computer, thus becoming the world’s first computer programmer.
This picture book biography of Ada Lovelace is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art.
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson | Chronicle Books
In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinsoncreate an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Meticulously researched by both author and artist, Josephine’s powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.
“This inspiring picturebook introduction to the life of Einstein has skilled, stylish, engaging illustrations and simple, lyrical text… It encourages children to look, think, visualise, solve problems, and dare to be different.” Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times Culture
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky | Chronicle Books
Travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. Parents and children alike will appreciate this moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.
Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau by Jennifer Berne | Chronicle Books
Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring.
“Both sad and heart warming; this is a story worth sharing.”Magpie That
“Such an engaging life story and one we urge you to read. Cloth Lullaby is a sensitively produced biography of a hugely creative woman.”picture books blogger
Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois by Amy Novesky and Isabelle Arsenault | Abrams Books
Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was a world-renowned modern artist noted for her sculptures made of wood, steel, stone, and cast rubber. Her most famous spider sculpture, Maman, stands more than 30 feet high.
Just as spiders spin and repair their webs, Louise’s own mother was a weaver of tapestries. Louise spent her childhood in France as an apprentice to her mother before she became a tapestry artist herself. She worked with fabric throughout her career, and this biographical picture book shows how Bourgeois’s childhood experiences weaving with her loving, nurturing mother provided the inspiration for her most famous works.
With a beautifully nuanced and poetic story, this book stunningly captures the relationship between mother and daughter and illuminates how memories are woven into us all.
“The underlying message of undying perseverance is all too abundant and one that will resonate with readers everywhere.” Picture Books Blogger
“The perfect book to inspire budding ballerinas and guaranteed to have you twirling and pirouetting around the house.”My Little Style File
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder and Julie Morstad | Chronicle Books
The world is big. Anna is small.
The snow is
and all around.
But one night . . .One night, her mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. Anna finds a beauty inside herself that she cannot contain.
So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova. Beautiful, inspirational, and triumphant, Anna Pavlova’s life is masterfully captured in this exquisite picture book.
Have you got a favourite? Let us know @AbramsChronicle #ACBLittleLibrary