Two fabulous picture book biographies about women who helped change the world!


From the team behind the acclaimed Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science comes a delicious nonfiction picture book biography about pioneering chef Alice Waters who kickstarted the organic food movement.

Whenever young Alice Waters tasted something delicious, like the sun-warmed berries from her family’s garden or a crisp, ripe apple picked straight from the tree, she would remember it for the rest of her life. Later, as she tasted many more wonderful foods, she realized what made them so good—they were fresh and ripe, grown or made the old-fashioned way.

When Alice grew up, she opened a restaurant called Chez Panisse. As part of her quest to make delicious food, Alice sought out small, local farmers to provide the meat, dairy, and produce. The restaurant made her famous, but it did much more than that—it started a food revolution. Today, home cooks and chefs alike are all discovering the simple secret to the Best! Food! Ever! This book is a celebration of food, cooking, and the woman whose curiosity and devotion to flavor kickstarted America’s interest in buying local, organic food.


While I am not a real food person, I found this brief biography of Alice Waters and her impact on the food world quite fascinating.  From eating garden fresh foods in her childhood to eating delicious French food while studying in France to opening a French restaurant after graduating from college, Alice Waters taste for good food shines through the the text and illustrations of this picture book.  Her determination to serve only the best fresh foods from the best local providers helped start the organic food movement.  What I found the most interesting though was the way she did it with the help of her friends and a commitment to offering only the best to her customers. The energetic and eye-catching illustrations allow Alice's work to shine.  As a fan of picture book biographies, I am glad to add this to my growing collection of great and inspiring titles about a variety of women who left their mark on the world.


For fans of Shark Lady and from the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Dr. Fauci comes the incredible true story of a girl who discovered dinosaur bones in her own backyard and, after years of persistence, helped uncover one of the most exciting paleontological discoveries of our time.

There’s an extraordinary secret hidden just beneath Ruth Mason’s feet. The year is 1905, and Ruth is a prairie girl living in South Dakota. She has no way of knowing that millions of years ago, her family farm was once home to scores of dinosaurs. Until one day, when Ruth starts finding clues to the past: strange rocks and rubble scattered all across her land. They’re dinosaur fossils—but she doesn’t know that yet, either. It will take many years of collecting these clues, and many, many questions, but Ruth’s curiosity will one day help uncover thousands of fossils all across her land.

New York Times bestselling illustrator Alexandra Bye’s vibrant illustrations bring to life this inspiring and exciting debut picture book from award-winning journalist Julia Lyon. 


This fascinating account of Ruth Mason and her collection of fossils was eye-opening for me.  Ruth's love for the outdoors shines through in both the text and the vibrant illustrations.  Her refusal to give up her belief that what she had found was remarkable was impressive considering the number of rejections she received.  Thanks to her persistence though the world finally discovered the incredible dinosaur fossil collection that Ruth had developed over her lifetime.  The backmatter that Lyon's provided was appreciated in that she specified what was and was not known about Ruth's life.  I always enjoy reading this kind of extra information when it is provided, it helps provide context when I use these books with my students.  Bye's bright, attractive illustrations jumped out at me from the moment I laid eyes on them and made me immediately want to read the book. For those who want to share an interesting story of a woman who made a significant contribution to science despite her lack of education, I can highly recommend this one. It's also just plain fun to read about Ruth's fossil garden and her enjoyment of her hobby.


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