Ages: 8 - 12Producer: Hachette Audio


Featuring the true stories of 40 female innovators— writers, inventors, artists, scientists and more— Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World is sure to not only educate but to inspire any young listeners who tune in.

The stories are about trailblazers, and not just the famous ones. There’s the story of Mary Blair, an American modernist painter who had a major influence on how color was used in early animated films, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, architect Zaha Hadid, filmmaker Maya Deren, and physicist Chien-Shiung Wu.

Read by Bahni Turpin and Adenrele Ojo, who have similar-sounding calm and clear voices, the stories are delivered with a surety and breathlessness to give a sense of awe about these women, but also to give a sense of the confidence the visionaries had while pursuing their passions and their goals. The narrators alternate in telling the stories, giving the name, the job, the city and a short background, all while employing the same sense of pacing, steady emotion and rhythm. Their voices are clear, but expressive, offering the mini-biographies of each of the women, often involving accented words, city names, tribes and phrases to tell how the person made history, whether a ceramic artist in Australia, a production designer in Japan or a calypso singer from Tobago. Their delivery makes for easy, consistent listening of each 2-3 minute story.

The only downside of listening to the book is that you can’t see what the women look like, and it’s important for young people to see role models. But in this case, listening might do something better— it will inspire and encourage young people to imagine their own kind of trailblazing.

Ann Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice

Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.

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