There are some magnificent picture books out there for kids to read. I love them - especially when they are about people that I don't already know about.
Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell - the collage illustrations accompany the poem-like text which tells Ella's life story and how she grew up in North Carolina surrounded by family, went away to college,and became an activist trying to ensure equal rights for everyone. I didn't know anything about Baker prior to reading this book, but am intrigued by her and think our students should be hearing about her contributions.
Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade - I've heard of Gwendolyn Brooks and known that she was a poet, but I had no idea about any details of her life. This is a book for any age, as it begins with Gwendolyn's childhood and moves up until she wins the Pulitzer Prize. The timeline at the book's end shows her growing body of work.
Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe - Lowe is the woman who designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding dress for her wedding to JFK. I find that fascinating. This book is a little skimpy on the details of Lowe's life, focusing mostly on her work as a designer, but the colorful illustrations and story about a very interesting woman are worth reading.
All of these picture book biographies contain additional information about the lives of important in influential women. I think these are a must buy for school libraries and public libraries as we attempt to diversify our collection and learn about the many people who have made contributions to our world.