This post includes items that have been gifted to us. These are marked (*)
One of the big trends in children’s publishing seems to be around producing books all about inspirational lives. We have a fair few of these books, and they’re a theme of study that Emma in particular enjoys. We have done a couple of projects on inspiring people, as independent units of study as well as a unit of study for our Speaking & Listening Group.
There are many different books that help children learn about inspirational lives, and here I share some of the ones that we like. These are books that we have been gifted by publishers and ones we have purchased ourselves. Those that have been gifted are marked (*). The links are also affiliate links.
Little People, Big Dreams
The Little People, Big Dreams books are as really lovely series. I bought the Ada Lovelace and Jane Goodall ones for a project we did a few months back, and we were gifted the Stephen Hawking (*) and Muhammed Ali (*) ones not too long ago. This series of books is well pitched for younger children and there’s a good potted history of the individual; their childhood and how they achieved prominence and key events. The illustrations are bright, bold and eye-catching and they are just really lovely books to read together. The Muhammed Ali one was a surprise hit here and it then took us on to looking at some old YouTube videos of Ali, as well as a wider-ranging chat about civil rights. Be warned though that once you get one of these books, you’ll want to collect the whole series!
40 Inspiring Icons
This is a series of books that we have been fortunate enough to have been gifted. They really are fantastic and the 40 Fantastic Footballers is a regular read for Daniel and was used to form the basis of his Aguero project. They’re done in the style of infographics with a double page spread per icon. There’s a few in the series now, and we particularly like the Super Scientists one and People of Peace. This is a truly fantastic series of books that we have had a lot of use from.
Fantastically Great Women Who….
The Fantastically Great Women Who series is one that we have been enjoying. The illustrations are more comic book style rather than a standard story. They’re also more like a picture book and Emma likes to leaf through these books, looking at the different inspiring women and asking me to tell her about them. There’s a lot of information packed into these books (we have bought all three in the series) and there are activity books to accompany these too, that have ideas in for learning more about the women and studying them more.
The two books in the Little Leaders series so far have been ones that Emma has really enjoyed. She received one as a Christmas gift, and the other as a birthday gift. What I really like about these books is that they take some less well-known women and I’ve learnt lots myself since looking at these with Emma. At the last Speaking & Listening group, we studied people of note, and Emma chose Fatima El-Fihri from this book. We learnt lots about her and her legacy which we would not have done without these books.
Work it, Girl
Work it, GIrl is a new series that we were recently sent to take a look at. The first two books focus on J.K. Rowling (*) and Oprah Winfrey (*). These are aimed at a slightly older audience (8+) but Daniel has enjoyed these with me. The books give 10 key lessons from their lives and work and intertwined within their stories are lots of quotes and mantras, which in turn have provided some interesting talking points for Daniel and I. A really bright and colourful addition to the bookshelf for us.
Other Great Books to Inspire
Some other great books that are well worth looking at include:
The People Awards (*) – This is a great book that hands awards to 50 different people, awards like ‘Brilliant Ideas award’. It then details why those individuals earnt the award and has acted as a bit of a springboard for us to learn more about certain people.
Stories for Kids who Dare to Be Different – we bought this and the Boys who Dare to be Different one at Christmas time. These books feature lots of different individuals and help to demonstrate that diversity and being different can be the launchpad for many great things.
Little Guides to Great Lives – This is a series of books that are actually quite detailed. We have the Ferdinand Magellan (*) one. It’s really well done with a simple colour palette which enhances the story. To my shame, I didn’t know the story of Ferdinand Magellan but it’s absolutely fascinating and I’m planning to look at explorers in more detail later this year as I think the book is a really fascinating story. I like the addition of the timeline and glossary in this book and I’m keen to take a look at some others in this series too.