Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone

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If you’re looking for a gift for a child (especially one who loves science), there’s a new book you have to see: Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman.

The story of America’s first female physician, Stone’s picture book biography is inspiring and smart. I began reading it in the bookstore, made a note to purchase it for the school library, and then, after further consideration, decided to buy it right then and share it with a few students tomorrow. There aren’t many school days left this year – no time to waste!  Also, I was hooked from the first page which reads:

“I’ll bet you’ve met plenty of doctors in your life. And I’ll bet lots of them were women. Well, you might find this hard to believe, but there once was a time when girls weren’t allowed to become doctors.”  Elizabeth Blackwell’s name was familiar to me before reading Stone’s book, but the combination of the lively and interesting text and Priceman’s vibrant pictures give Blackwell’s story a whole new energy. Yesterday I didn’t think to ask our students if they have heard of Elizabeth Blackwell. Tomorrow – I will ask.

Part of the appeal of this book are Marjorie Priceman’s illustrations. Truly, if she illustrated her grocery list, I would purchase it.  Her pictures are warm and whimsical, and quite simply, they always make me happy. Take this test. The next time you’re in the public library, look at Hot Air or Emeline at the Circus or How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. A smile is guaranteed. Here’s another picture from Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?

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Speaking of happiness, here are two scenes I saw at school today – both of which made me smile:

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