Last week I was lucky enough to meet and be bowled-over by two amazing babes - Eliza Sarlos and Grace Lee. They were kind enough to come out to the Sydney Story Factory where I volunteer and give a free workshop to a bunch of young wordsmiths. Their book, Amazing Babes is published by Scribe and is a wonderful collaboration of brains and heart and beautiful illustrations.
Eliza came up with the concept, wanting to give a book to her young son that showed just some of the amazing work of women in this world. She writes: 'all the women in this book had the ideas, determination, and creativity to bring about change in the world, and in learning about their stories we honour their achievements'. It's a picture book that is full of big stories - big women who have lead big lives. It details the courage of Aung San Suu Kyi, the compassion of Mum Shirl, the vision of Miles Franklin,the dedication of Vandana Shiva, and the moxie of Kathleen Hanna (among many diverse and interesting women).
Grace's illustrations are bright and warm, and each show a bit of the character and life of their subject. During the workshop, where Eliza got our young writers (my little cousin Rosie included) to pen letters to women they admired, Grace patiently and brilliantly drew up a cover for our book of letters, with portraits of all the students and volunteer tutors' smiling faces included. She is such a talent and I am so happy to have been a part of the day.
I have loved reading through each and every profile. Did you know that Hedy Lamarr (pictured third here) was a film-star and a mathematician? She helped invent a frequency technology that is still used today in Bluetooth and wifi! I of course bought a copy for my nieces, but am a bit tempted just to keep it for myself…
*Illustrations by Grace Lee, courtesy of Amazing Babes, including Miles Franklin, Mum Shirl, Hedy Lamarr and Vandana Shiva.