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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great People

Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Emboldening Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists

NOTE: This article is too long for email and has been truncated – you can read it in full on the site.
Margaret Mead extolled the value of "spiritual and mental ancestors" inhow we form our identity – those people to whom we aren't related but whose values we try to cultivate in ourselves; role models we seek out not from our immediate genetic pool but from the pool of culture the surrounds us, past and present. Seneca saw in reading, one of the oldest and most reliable ways to identify and contact these cultural ancestors, a way of being adopted into the "households of the noblest intellects." And what better time to meet such admirable models of personhood than in childhood, that fertile seedbed for the flowering of values and identity?

Collected here are thirteen wonderful picture-books celebrating such worthwhile "spiritual and mental ancestors." It is, of course, an incomplete reading list, yet it is a deliberate one – a great many such books exist, but few feature the trifecta of wonderfulness: a cultural icon notable for his or her lasting contribution to humanity beyond mere fame; an intelligent and nuanced life-story lovingly told; and beautiful, imaginative illustrations rewarding in their own right. Please enjoy.

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