Great Read Alouds: Amazing people to meet

The world is full of artists, athletes, activists, explorers, inventors and scientists who have done amazing things! Some of these people are famous and some are not. A great way for children to meet these inspiring people is through picture book biographies.

These books combine beautiful illustrations and engaging text to tell a story in only 32 pages. Of course they are not as detailed as traditional biographies and they often use fictionalized narratives in the story (did George Washington really say that?). However, picture book biographies are a wonderful way to get kids interested in some pretty spectacular people!

The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything: The Story of Maria Mitchell by Laura Alary

Maria Mitchell loved using her telescope to look at the stars when she was a child. She had determination, and was full of wonder and curiosity. The problem was that Mitchell was born in a time when girls only learned needlework and how to take care of the children. Girls didn’t have adventures or learn about science. This story is a great way to show that anything is possible no matter your upbringing. Read about Maria’s trailblazing path to astronomy!

Sakamoto’s Swim Club: How A Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory by Julie Abery

This lyrical rhyming story takes place during WWII, but doesn’t go into any war details. It is an inspiring tale of Japanese Hawaiian swim coach, Soichi Sakamoto, and his love for the sport and the boys he coached. Despite hardships and disadvantages, he did not give up!

Yayoi Kusama Covered Everything in Dots and Wasn’t Sorry by Fausto Gilberti

Using quirky illustrations— mainly in black and white with touches of orange— this is an intriguing story of the contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She did not follow any of the traditional mediums. Dots were her thing!

The Sweetest Scoop: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Revolution by Lisa Robinson

This book is about ice cream! Sweet and comical illustrations are paired with an interesting, easy to read story about how Ben & Jerry’s came to be. After this sweet read, be prepared to pick up some ice cream!

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Debbie is a collection development librarian. She chooses children’s nonfiction & picture books for our wonderful kids library! If Debbie were a book character she would be: Winnie the Pooh on good days, Eeyore on less than good days.