Reel Girl’s KidLit Picks of the Week

It’s been three days of straight rain starting out Winter Break. These books are helping us get through:

Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys

I think this book just came out. In any case, I saw it for the first time a couple days ago, and I love it.


Imogen is the real life story of the great photographer, Imogen Cunningham. What I love most about this book is that it shows the challenge of being and artist and a mother and how that challenge was not only overcome but used to create art. Reading this book  made me think of a post I wrote some time ago: Why aren’t there more women artists? The theory I wrote about– and that this book shows– is that in order to create, if you’re a mom as well, you need to be healthy as possible. The tortured, romanticized Marlboro Man, separated from the rest of life, doesn’t apply. This book shows all that beautifully.

Reel Girl rates Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys ***HHH***

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

My daughters adore this story about a woman who goes off by herself in the woods to gather herbs, spices, nuts, and seeds.


When she starts back home, she is followed by a pair of shoes.  Not freaked out one bit by shoes without feet in them, the woman says: “Get out of my way you two big shoes! I’m not afraid of you!” A pair of pants is added, a shirt, and on and on, each with a different movement: the shoes go clomp, clomp; the pants go wiggle, wiggle, the shirt goes shake, shake. You get the idea.

So my confession here is that I have a hard time with repetition. It gets on my nerves. Goldilocks is an absolute nightmare for me. I  get so bored reading the same thing over and over, knowing more of the same is to come. But repetition is in so many stories for kids because they love it; it helps them learn, too. My three daughters get so excited when they know what’s coming next. They call out all the sounds with huge grins on their faces. I love the old lady, so this book works for us.

Reel Girl rates The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything ***HHH***

Zita, the Spacegirl

This graphic novel features one of the few female superheroes. Zita is very cool.


This epic describes Zita’s journey from earth to another world, all to rescue her friend, Joseph. This story features monsters, magicians, and all kinds of scary space creatures. My only issue is that most (all?) of the other characters in this story appear to be male. Unfortunately, that gender division– when the female gets to be the protagonist, she is surrounded by males–  is all too common in kids media. Still, I cannot wait to see the movie. I wish someone would make it.

Reel Girl rates Zita, the Spacegirl ***HH***