I received the books in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe • Little People, BIG DREAMS is a series of picture books about important figures in science, art, sport — virtually every field — who overcame difficult beginnings and hardships to pursue their dreams. Aimed at ages 4 to 7, the stories are simple primers that de-mystify modern-day heroes, sharing the milestones in their upbringing and careers achieved not by magic, but by hard work and perseverance. I’ve talked about some of the earlier books in the series (Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn, Stephen Hawking and others) and wanted to share a peek at some of the newest ones.
Each of the books here were written by Isabel Sánchez Vegara, but they all have different illustrators.
As a young man, Mohandas Gandhi dreamed of unity for all peoples and religions. Inspired by this idea, he led peaceful protests to free India from British rule and unite the country — ending violence and unfair treatment. His bravery and free thinking made him one of the most iconic people of peace in the world, known as “Mahatma” meaning “great soul.” This inspiring story of the “Father of India’s” life features a facts and photos section at the back.
“When Britain made salt expensive to buy, Mohandas marched 241 miles to the Indian Ocean in protest.”
“He harvested the salt himself to give to his people. This little gesture shook the world in the gentlest way.”
When Wilma Rudolph was a little girl, she contracted polio. Doctors said she would never walk again. But with persistent treatment, she made a remarkable recovery at age 11. Wilma went on to show a supreme talent for sprinting at school. She was in college when she went to the 1960s Olympics, where she not only won gold medals in sprinting events, but also broke world records with her sprinting skill. This inspiring story of the Olympian’s life features a facts and photos section at the back.
“Back home, her brothers and sisters would take turns rubbing her leg, just like the nurses did at the hospital. For five years, they gave Wilma massages every day. That’s around 7,300 massages!”
“Finally, her family’s care and attention showed results: by the time she was nine, Wilma no longer needed her leg brace. And once she took it off, there was no turning back.”
Little Dolly grew up singing near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. She was poor in money but rich in love and talent. After school, she moved to Nashville to pursue her singing-songwriting dreams. Dolly became a musical superstar, but she never forgot where she came from. She now uses her wealth to give back to people in need. This inspiring story of the country legend’s life features a facts and photos section at the back.
“Dolly topped the charts with Porter. But she also wrote many moving songs on the trials of being a woman, and earned herself loyal fans. It was time to go solo.”
Some of the books have been criticized for glossing over (or ignoring altogether) a few of the subjects’ unsavoury histories, actions or views. And a couple of people in the series are controversial figures for sure. I think it’s important to teach kids that people are multi-dimensional; adults can (and should) fill in some of the blanks as age-appropriate. The books do a great job at what they’re intended to do — educate, inspire and spark interest for further study. (Each book recommends additional resources.)
Thanks to Quarto, I’ve got a Little People, BIG DREAMS book for one of you. To enter to win it, tell me which one you’d pick — Mahatma Gandhi, Wilma Rudolph or Dolly Parton — and who you’d like to see in a future book in the comments below. (This entry is mandatory.)
For another entry, follow try small things on Facebook, share this post (you’ll see the share buttons below) and tell me your Facebook name in the comments below.
And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things and Quarto Knows on Twitter for your entry to count.
See what’s new from the Little People, BIG DREAMS series and enter to #win a title from @trysmallthings https://wp.me/p4xBed-7tb CAN 8/28 #littlepeoplebigdreams
The contest is open to Canadian (excluding Quebec) residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on August 28, 2019. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another winner will be selected.
Update August 30, 2019: Congratulations Sandra F!