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A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing…

A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women

by Lynne Cheney

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I imagined myself getting lost in this book as a young child, picturing my mother read to me in bed, listening as she would provide additional commentary on each page. The text itself is a bit skimpy when it comes to learning anything of real value about these women, but it is a good starting point for anyone who might be interested in learning more about American women who pioneered in different fields. Staged in alphabetical order, each letter represents largely a different theme or profession rather than focusing on one individual, with the exception of the titular figure. Colorful illustrations are fun and intricate, offering readers a variety of images to scan, reminiscent of Where's Waldo or hidden pictures. The design and layout of each page varies, featuring text that curves around the page, blips of captions, or sometimes just a collage of portraits. Some women of color are represented, but the illustrations disappointingly seem to have Anglicized or colloquially white-washed these women. Additionally, some of the women featured are perhaps slightly obscure, but this can be an opportunity to expand one's knowledge and understanding of women's history in the United States. For high school students studying women's rights, this book could serve to springboard research into a particular figure and could be used in the classroom for a quick reference of American women of worth; for younger readers, it might simply plant the proverbial seed of inspiration. ( )
  sgudan | Feb 7, 2017 |
This book appeared to have good intentions, but was overambitious. It's almost an illustrated bibliography for kids, or perhaps even more pointedly, an illustrated list of women to look up on Wikipedia. The selection of women is carefully curated to include women of various races, which is great, but gender and LGBT diversity seems pointedly shoved aside (though, to be fair, Susan B. Anthony made the cover). Also, it seemed the immigrant women highlighted were overall very white. Nonetheless, the book is a good jumping off point, and would be an asset to any classroom collection. As a graduate of a Seven Sisters school, I also appreciated the book's emphasis on the Seven Sisters, of which many students might otherwise be unaware. ( )
  EBolles | Jan 25, 2017 |
This book is one that highlights the strength of amazing American women, where the main message is to inform readers of these women’s accomplishments and advancement to the United States. I really wanted to like this book for it has a few features that are great, notably the illustrations and language, however I cannot bring myself to really like it due to the poor writing/ organization.

The illustrations and language are both amazing, popping off the pages vividly. Both enhance the story and create a mood of inspiration and pride, especially for those readers who are female. Both the illustrations and language are clear and detailed, providing detailed accounts and physical images of the women described. I especially like the letter “p”, where its page shows American performers. Each character comes to life and is unique. The accompanying language to this section is clear and to the point.

What I did not enjoy about this book was the extremely overwhelming writing and its organization. Many pages consist of words all over the page, making it hard to find the starting point and even harder to read. It is very overwhelming, especially when the text featured was presented as page borders, like the letter “b” page.

Overall, I think this book highlights American women well, but could definitely be improved. The pages that stand out are the ones that are not as overwhelming, and are the pages I enjoyed the most alongside the beautiful illustrations and language. ( )
  GabrielleAmaro | Mar 20, 2016 |
I love this book. It is about the amazing women that helped the United States come to be the country it is today. I also like it for the fact that it states things in alphabetic order. For example, E is for the Educators. On this page it lists women such as Anne Sullivan who helped Helen Keller. It talked about Emma Willard who founded the Troy Female Seminary because she knew women had the right to a good education. This book talks about the first women who fought in war, the first women who became writers, the most famous and notable actresses, women who won gold medals at the Olympics, women who marched in the second wave for equal rights, it goes on and on. This is a really good informational book to show that women helped form our country as well as men. This book includes so many different women that I have never even heard of but without that person, something in this world would be different. Every page is filled with illustrations top to bottom. Everything is vibrant, fun, and exciting.
  brittanyyelle | Nov 4, 2015 |
This was a great book with lots of information. Sometimes the book was difficult to read, with text going in borders around pictures and pages. There were also many pages so packed with names and information it was hard to make sure you'd read it all. Also, my eyes aren't all that bad, but sometimes it was hard to read the text. It is a tiny thing, but it bothered me that the structure wasn't the same throughout. Sometimes the letter was for a name and sometimes it was for an accomplishment. Drove me a little batty. But, there is a great deal of great information, especially in the endnotes of the book. Great illustrations. ( )
  TaraKennedy | Feb 19, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689858191, Hardcover)

Soldiers, scientists, performers, writers, entrepreneurs, politicians, quilt makers, pilots... as author Lynne Cheney writes, "America’s amazing women have much to teach our children--and much inspiration to offer us, as well." Coming on the heels of America: A Patriotic Primer (Cheney’s previous collaboration with illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser), A Is for Abigail celebrates the achievements of women in American history, with a special emphasis on the individuals who helped win equal rights for women. As with America, Cheney uses an alphabet book format to introduce hundreds of remarkable real women: "O is for SANDRA DAY O’CONNOR and others who were first." In addition to the first woman Supreme Court Justice, the "O" page includes Wilma Mankiller, first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation; Jeannette Rankin, first female member of Congress; and Nellie Tayloe Ross, first woman governor. Glasser’s playful illustrations are lively and busy, inviting readers to explore Abigail Adams's farm or the crowded city block that houses "V is for VARIETY," with its DNA lab, dance studio, dentist office, and "PERSONS at WORK" sign. Snippets of information about each featured woman give a taste; ideally, readers will seek more in-depth biographies about the historical figures who pique their interests. (Ages 6 to 9) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:05 -0400)

Each letter of the alphabet is represented by an important woman in the history of the United States, as well as others in her same field of accomplishment.

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