Books, Reviews

Brilliant Ideas from Wonderful Women: Book Review

As I mentioned earlier, and as you already know, March is National Women’s History Month here in the US. It also is National Women Inventors Month and Gender Equality Month. And today, March 8th happens to be International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter.

I am lucky to have known, and know, many super-women, among my family and friends. They are my everyday heroes, my first and closest inspiration, my role models whom I can actually interact with.

And everyone has ideas to make lives easier in the various mantles we assume each day. Sharing and using these ideas makes all our lives run more smoothly and efficiently.

In my previous post, I talked about posting about books to read for this month and beyond. Today’s featured book includes women like those I mentioned earlier – women who strove to solve a problem they saw around them, and thus effectively granted a boon to many around the world.

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Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women

Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women
15 incredible inventions from inspiring women!
by Aitziber Lopez
Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions
Children’s Nonfiction
Pub Date 05 Mar 2019

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Discover the stories behind 15 of the twentieth century’s key inventions in this fun and informative treasury of trailblazing women, who each made a unique contribution to the history of science and technology.

Car heaters…Monopoly…Disposable diapers…The dishwasher…Kevlar…Maritime flares… Anti-reflective glass…Wifi…Syringes…Submarine periscopes…Diagnostic tests…Lifeboats…Windshield wipers…Ebooks…What do each of these revolutionary inventions have in common? They were all pioneered by women!

Each brilliant idea is presented with biographical information about the brilliant woman who came up with it, including what inspired them. Learn how Martha Coston disguised herself as a man to contact pyrotechnicians and convince them to manufacture her idea for maritime flares, how a New York tram ride on a wet winter’s day led Mary Anderson to invent the windshield wiper, and why Letitia Mumford Geer’s one-hand operated syringe was a medical breakthrough, among other fascinating facts. Full-page illustrations show the inspiration for and use of these incredible inventions in humorous detail.

From lifeboat-inventor, Maria Beasley, to the grandmother of the ebook, Ángela Ruiz Robles, each of the inspiring women in this book achieved their goal of leaving the world a better place than they found it.

My Thoughts:

Delightful discoveries on every page. That was my first thought as I read this book. Other thoughts included – ‘Who knew?’, ‘Really!’, ‘So this is how this came about :)!’, and so on.

It is simply full of ‘proud-that-I-am-a-woman’ moments when I read this book. Women account for so many wonderful, useful, making-everyday-lives-easier-better-safer inventions that I did not know about earlier (and that is definitely one of the reasons we need books like these). And you will learn about them too in ‘Brilliant Ideas from Wonderful Women’.

I love that the sections for each woman includes more than just the brilliant idea. It also includes the inspiration behind the brilliant idea and the efforts the women had to take to bring their idea to reality (dress like a man – check; keep going at it in-spite of obstacles galore – check; and more).

In addition, little data ‘bubbles’ around the pages provide some more fun stuff; such as, other ideas these wonderful women are credited with and/or some additional interesting facts about them.

I love that this can lead to encouraging more girls towards STEM by showing them that if these women could do it in-spite of all the obstacles they faced, girls today can definitely #MakeWhatsNext with all the opportunities they have.

Last but not the least, the illustrations! They are bright, full of whimsical details, informative, and totally creative to fit perfectly with brilliant ideas and wonderful women, with just the right touch of humor too.

Brilliant Ideas Wonderful Women #MakeWhatsNext

The Dishwasher: Josephine Garis Cochrane

(Image from the Publisher – on Amazon)

Additional Notes:

  • I do wonder why the book cover uses the word ‘by(Brilliant Ideas By Wonderful Women), while everywhere else, the title has the word ‘from‘ (Brilliant Ideas From Wonderful Women) instead.
  • This book includes only women from the USA. Again, the pros of this book overpower this caveat and I hope the author and illustrator work together to create more books to include a diverse set of women around the world.
  • Since this book is aimed at really younger audiences, a helpful glossary of ‘big’ words used in the book would have made the book even better. Including an index of additional resources for the older reader to look into would be another wonderful plus for this book, if possible (maybe in a future edition or in the next book like this)
  • And a minor, minor caveat: the e-arc I used for review purposes had some issues – missing words mainly between pages – lost in …. whatever. But I am hoping and am sure the published edition will be without any such errors. Note that this does not detract from the wonders of the book!

In Summary:

This is one brilliant book where there is something for everyone to discover. And you might be inspired to come up with brilliant ideas of your own which will be used all over the world sometime in the future!

A great addition to any school library (and homes too). To encourage more girls towards and to stay in STEM programs, to inspire everyone to explore and to work to make their ideas a reality.

Rating: 5/5
Reading Level: 5 – 8 years (and above as well!)

Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the eARC of this book. The opinions expressed are my honest thoughts as I read the book.

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Brilliant Ideas Wonderful Women

55 thoughts on “Brilliant Ideas from Wonderful Women: Book Review

  1. I can understand your thoughts on this having just US women who are amazing. However I would still show my grandchildren it because it showcases amazing women.

    1. Thanks Tasha.. I am sure another book to include more women from around the world by the publishers and authors can easily rectify this issue (and this will be good as a series).. and am sure your grandchildren will love the book and you can buy it for them right from my blog using those links

  2. So great! I have two daughters and have recently thought about how I need to start introducing books like this. Also, I think it’s so funny that a woman invented disposable diapers, but then, of course they would!!!

    1. 🙂 yes, that is true.. for today, i am looking towards a laundry folder, at least one of the things that i can do with really (can i build it? if not, will inspire my kids to do so)

  3. Always interesting to go back to history and know such information. Women has contributions already way back so reading the book might just add more things to that.

  4. I just added it to cart today after reading review yesterday. I gotta check out your website for more books. U have a good choice.

  5. My role models and the women who inspire most are also my mother and aunts who faced many challenges and obstacles in their lives but overcame them with grace and dignity to raise healthy happy families. I suspect the reason that many of these inventions you mentioned became a part of our lives without us even realising they were designed by women is that women usually get on with the job and don’t make a fuss about the great and important things that comes out of it.

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