By Mia Wenjen
These books showed me how to find the arc of a picture book biography by focusing on a defining moment, following this thread throughout the narrative, and noticing how this led to their ultimate goal. This also gives the illustrations a focal point.
The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee, illustrated by Susanna Chapman
Bobbi is a girl whose legs can't be still. Colorful energy lines cascade from her in the illustrations when she's pursuing her goal.
Ruth Asawa: A Sculpting Life by Joan Schoettler, illustrated by Traci Van Wagoner
The wavy lines and hourglass shapes she created as a child would define Ruth Asawa's art.
Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz
Feeding the poor as a means towards world peace drove Momofuku to create instant noodles.
A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrated by Xia Gordon
The motif for her life is a flower blooming without sunlight.
Away With Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Kristy Caldwell
A wild vine in a too-small pot is an apt metaphor for Isabella Bird's adventurous life that guides the story through related descriptive words and the color palette of the illustrations.
Mia is offering a signed copy of her book, HOW TO COACH GIRLS and a Grab Bag of Picture Books. To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must be registered by March 4, comment on each post, consistently read mentor texts, and enter the Rafflecopter drawing at the conclusion of ReFoReMo.
Mia Wenjen is a parenting blogger turned author. She writes obsessively about diversity children's books at PragmaticMom.com and is a co-creator of Multicultural Children's Book Day. Her debut picture book, Sumo Joe, is out May 2019. She is also the co-author of How To Coach Girls.