Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Getting There First! Isabella: Girl in Charge by Jennifer Fossberry

"I'm ready!" said the little girl. "Let's GO!"

"It's not time, Isabella!" said the mother. "It's not even daylight!"

"My name is not Isabella! I am Susanna Salter, the mayor of this town!"

Isabella is ready to get to work as the first female mayor of Argonia, as her sash proclaims.

"Well, Susanna," said her mother. "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!"

But Isabella is on a roll. When it's time for breakfast, she's rarin' to get going.

"I'm not Susanna. I'm Jeannette Rankin. I will represent you!" she proclaims.

"Well, Jeannette," said her mother. "In this House, we will eat a good breakfast!" she says.

But Isabella is still channeling Jeannette Rankin, first woman to qualify for Congress, two years before women got the vote.

"I'm the only woman who ever voted to give women the vote," she proclaims.

By now the Isabella and her family are outside, strolling through the streets of Washington, D.C., walking past the historic buildings.

But little Isabella quickly moves on, personifying famous women--Nellie Ross, first woman governor, Frances Perkins, first female Cabinet secretary, and Sandra Day O'Connor, first woman justice of the Supreme Court, Sonia Sostomayor, first Hispanic woman Justice, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court.

By this time the family are nearing the Capitol, where lots of flags are flying. And Isabella has a big announcement as they join the crowd for the inauguration of the new President of the United States.

"It's TIME!"

How big can a girl dream? In Jennifer Fossberry's sequel to her 2010 My Name Is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? (See review here) Isabel dreams really big, in Fossberry's timely Isabella: Girl in Charge (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, 2016).

Little Isabella gives the reader a quick summary of the history of women in public service, from Susanna Madora Salter, first woman mayor of a city to Madeline Allbright, first woman Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice, first African-American Secretary of State, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomeyer, the first women of their ethic group to serve on the Supreme Court.

This latest, with its companion book, are great for primary grader students for the approaching Women's History Month in March. Fossberry's spunky spokeswoman for women knows her stuff, and she gives Isabella's mother some clever puns on the accomplishments of these historic women. Litwin's energetic illustrations portray Isabella's rapid changes of persona with humor, and the author offers an appendix with a detailed timeline of women in office which adds some solid punch to the story line for background and fodder for young researchers. Because these books offer a collective summary, rather than an individual biography of women in American history for youngsters of the primary persuasion, they should be a definite purchase for libraries.

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