"When I was first offered a review opportunity for From Anna Wintor to Zadie Smith (A to Z), I was uncertain. Perhaps it was the title, in my mind it would be images of personalities. I can stand corrected and totally got the mission of Raimah Amevor, author of the book. I was sent a review copy and from our experience I would say, From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith is a wonderful collection of images and motivational quotes from inspirational women around the world."
Although From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith is aimed at children I learnt from it as well. Unlike, some picture books, I believe parents would have to explore the personalities and the quotes with their children. Typically, even if a child is not a confident reader, he/she could explore the illustrations on their own. The illustrations tell their a story and supports the text content. However, with A to Z , while children may recognize some of the personalities, and see that there is a range of ethnicities, to fully benefit parents would be required to explain or discuss the women and their quotes.
I believe A to Z is best suited to 8+ years. We explored our copy as part of our bedtime routine. The children each selected a the person who’s quote they wanted to hear. Then, I shared with them a few simple aspects of that lady’s life and what she was known for, to put it into context. Then I read the quote.
A to Z is a little bigger than A5 in size which makes it easily portable in a handbag or knapsack
In our last post, we spoke about the importance of diversity in children’s literature, and how books such as this one, written by Raimah Amevor is helping bolster the range of different images young kids are exposed to.
Raimah the author of From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith is also the founder of Mindfully Kids, a brand which seeks to empower children around the world to be mindful and independent thinkers that look beyond stereotypes and limiting beliefs.
The book features modern female icons rather than historical ones. Why Beyoncé and not Harriett Tubman?
With respect, I purposely didn’t want to focus on iconic historical figures such as Harriet Tubman, because I wanted it to be relatable for the children and their parents.
Did you face any challenges whilst writing From Anna Wintour to Zadie Smith?
One of the biggest challenges was having to choose between women I admire whose name started with the same letter! That was very difficult for me, but I have balanced this out by developing other products where I can use more fabulous women whose names start with the same letter. Another challenge was trying to ensure that the book had a diverse selection of women from different backgrounds and professions, it is very important to me for children to see women from all walks of life to show them that there isn’t one way to be successful.