2 New Picture Books Perfect for Women's History Month

Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are my own.

How are you surviving this crazy new social distancing? School buildings here are closed until at least May 4 and now lessons are on-line for all students. It is a strange time. I have several friends who are nurses at hospitals and both have told me about the lack of face masks. Although I believe the supplies are slowly coming I decided to do my part and make some face masks. Now we all know that homemade face masks will not stop COVID-19 like the N-95 face masks that the hospitals desperately need, but they will help protect some and certainly can be used in other parts of the hospitals. I pulled out the fabric scraps from past quilts and ones my mother gave me. I did some research. I found this article and its links to be very helpful. I combined a few tutorials and had one of my nurse friends try them on so I knew which was best. I used two layers of good quality quilting cotton fabrics and a layer of either a good t-shirt or flannel. 

Once I started Hazel asked to help. We figured out which parts she could help best with which was sewing the layers together. I cut and pinned them for her and she sewed them and flipped them. Then I would press them and repin them with the tucks. One of the tutorials I saw from a hospital said they prefer three tucks and another one used only two tucks. I put three tucks in since the hospital tutorial said it was what they preferred. 

We made over 40 face masks to donate to two local hospitals and our friends picked them up to bring them to the hospitals. I hope they will help the nurses and hospital staffs stay safe in this scary time. I kept a couple that we can use when we go out. That is how we spent the beginning of this week as well as Hazel starting a new school. Hazel mentioned how making the masks to donate made her feel proud. She knew we were helping and doing something good.

Now I would like to focus on some books to help you entertain your family in this time of social distancing. Since it is March and I haven't shared anything for Women's History Month I thought I would start with two new picture books that teach us about two amazing women. The first book tells us the assumed story about Anna Strong. 

Our first book is Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution by Sarah Glenn Marsh and illustrated by Sarah Green. Historians believe Anna Strong was a member of the Culper Ring, America's first spy network. And not only was she a member but she was the only female member. There is some documentation that they believe leads to this fact. However there is no direct proof, and Sarah Glenn Marsh shares this in the author's notes. She does also document where some of the things and events she shares came from. 

Anna Strong was a member of Long Island's elite. Much of her family were Loyalists so Anna Strong often was at British society parties. She was married to a Union soldier. He also was a member of the Culper Ring. It is believed she used a code to share movements and information about the British armies. It is even believed that she used her clothes on the clothesline to send messages. 

This book shares an interesting piece of history and shares the story of a female hero from a time when women were overlooked. It is well written and the illustrations are beautiful. Sarah Green paid attention to the time period with her illustrations. At the end of the book there are activities with some of the code as well as how to make invisible ink and send secret messages to friends. This book would be a great way to introduce history, math and coding to younger kids. For more posts about secret codes and coding check out here.

Our next book is Numbers in Motion: Sophie Kowalevski: Queen of Mathematics by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg. Sophie Kowlaveski had a mathematical mind from an early age. She had one problem. She was a girl. It was a time when women were not allowed to attend universities. She taught herself what she could and her family hired a tutor and she fought to be taught advanced mathematics by Karl Weierstrass. She went on to become a mathematics professor as well as produce three papers including one that expanded on another mathematician, Augustin-Louis Cauchy's work in the general theory of partial differential equations (calculus). Her work was so important they named a theorem after her and Cauchy. She entered a 50-page submission for the Bordin Prize in 1888. She won the award and her work known now as the Kowalevski Property has not been improved upon. 

This book shares the life and work of an amazing female mathematician. She showed the world that women could do mathematics. I love that there is a picture book about a woman who made a difference in the world of calculus. The story is well written. It is written for younger kids to learn about her and that she was important in the mathematics world. Of course it helps that the Kowalevski Property is the math explaining the movement of a top. At the end of the book there is information about Sophie's math trying to let kids understand it a bit more. This book is recommended for ages 6 to 10. It is definitely not a book for younger kids. There is also a note about Sophie's name and the Cyrillic alphabet. The spelling of her name is often different depending on the research you do because of the different alphabet. For more posts about calculus check these out.

I love that both of these books share history and math and have more to do and learn than just their stories. I hope you will check them out.