Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Little People Big Dreams: Marie Curie

Marie Curie
written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara; illustrated by Frau Isa
2017 (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

She had valuable advice for every new student: in life, there is nothing to be afraid of, only many things to learn, and many ways to help those in need. 

As a little girl, Marie had dreams that were a little different. She wanted to be a scientist. Marie was very bright, even winning a gold medal. Due only to her gender, what she couldn't win was a place in the university where her brother studied. This prompted her to move to France where she continued to be an excellent math and science student. She also met Pierre Curie, a fellow scientist. Together, they discovered radium, polonium, and love. This led to both winning the Nobel Prize. Marie was the first female to do so. Unfortunately, their story did not have a happy ending as Pierre died in a street accident. Marie went on to become the first person to win two Nobel Prizes and her work lead to the use of x-rays for injured World War I soldiers. She also helped found an institute in Paris that continues her work today.

A STEM biography for first and second graders that features a female scientist? Hurrah! The text is just right for early readers and the winsome soft color illustrations will attract as well. In addition to this being a great addition to your biography collection, I would also use it to study how illustrations can carry a story. The artwork of Marie mourning the loss of Pierre is very touching. In the back matter, you will find a photographic time line of Marie Curie's life along with a higher text level summary of her life.  Other biographies in this series include Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelou, and Amelia Earhart.

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