Colors of Awesome!: 24 Bold Women Who Inspired the World

Feiwel & Friends. Feb. 2022. 24p. Board $9.99. ISBN 9781250816672.
K-Gr 4–This color-themed picture book showcases the accomplishments of 24 iconic women via short descriptions of their lives, quotes, and lavish cartoon illustrations. The activists, scientists, artists, and entertainers highlighted in the text are grouped by the colors they have worn in their most recognizable moments. In these lively groupings, Sandra Day O’Connor keeps company with Cher, Alice Walker with Selena, and Mae Jemison with Carol Burnett. Chen describes the feelings evoked by a particular hue and what that color can represent, summarizes important moments in the lives of the women, and includes a direct quote from each of them featured in a speech bubble. Desierto’s vivid and highly engaging illustrations appear to combine cartoon-style computer graphics of each woman with close range photos of fabric to create their clothing, and human hair to create their looks, resulting in a unique and inviting collage of media. As the title suggests, the subjects are united by their courageous spirits but have little else in common. Although all the women depicted are unquestionably famous, their bravery ranges greatly in practice, from the truly profound, such as Ruby Bridges’s role in school integration, to the less exalted, such as Judy Garland’s accolades for The Wizard of Oz. If read as a sampling of interesting stories rather than an almanac of bold women, this picture book will dutifully pique the interest of young readers and can serve as an invitation for exploring more about the lives of the thought leaders and changemakers featured here.
VERDICT As an eclectic gathering of headliners, sure to inspire further research, this is recommended for picture book collections and collective biography shelves.

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