Launching amidst a global trend in the short biography format of books for children, starting with Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls—the book that possibly spawned the trend—HarperCollins Children’s Books’ new Timeless Biography, She Can You Can, is unique in several ways, right from the format, which is that of an alphabet book, to the choice of the iconic women that are part of it. The book introduces one trailblazing woman for each letter of the alphabet and is an eclectic mix of various new and exciting professions – from mountain-climbers to bikers, comedians to craft activists and many more that kids can relate to. It also includes a unique initiative: the book carries stories of children who have inspired people through heroic acts and remarkable achievements.
HarperCollins ran a contest from 6th September to 6th October 2018, inviting everyone under 18 years of age to send in their stories. The best of these have been featured in the book to reinforce the notion that children can inspire and motivate too. In addition, the activity pages at the end of the book, such as the ‘Write Your Own Biography’ page, are designed to promote children’s self-confidence. Anastasia Damani’s beautiful poster-style illustrations enhance the visual aspect of the book. She Can You Can will let young girls dream, explore and be whatever they want to be.
According to the author, Garima Kushwaha, ‘When we talk about role models in the Indian context, most people have male examples. I grew up hearing the term “Bada Aadmi”, a successful man. The implicit belief that men are meant to do great things, while women are there to support them, is so flawed. With this book, I want to showcase strong Indian women who have done brilliant things and portray them as female role models, so that after reading the book, young girls believe that they can be whatever they aspire to be and young boys don’t just think of girls as prizes to be won, but as doers and thinkers worthy of respect.’
About the Author
Garima is a research scientist and has a PhD in Bioinformatics. She is also interested in women’s empowerment in the context of Indian women. Garima has previously written about women’s rights issues for platforms like Menstrupedia, Youth Ki Awaaz and Women’s Web.
About the Illustrator
Anastasia is a children’s book illustrator and visual-communication designer. She illustrates across mediums – picture books, educational books and children’s apps. She has illustrated for the Chinmaya Mission and for international authors such as Kobus Neethling (Very Smart Parenting).
For more information, please write to Aman Arora at firstname.lastname@example.org