Recognizing Noisemakers during Women’s History Month

2 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

For much of March, Women’s History Month will have many events taking place all over the world to honour those who helped make this world great. Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed the World – A Graphic Collection comes from the creators of Kazoo, a quarterly magazine for girls ages 5-12. This anthology encourages young readers to aim for the top. Plus, it’s a very affordable book!

The women profiled here did more than just inspire. While it’s easy to name Amelia Earhart and Joan of Arc, there’s a lot more. Hedy Lamarr is a brilliant inventor actress. The underlying radio technology she developed with composer George Antheil is in use today in the form of Bluetooth. Josephine Baker was more than just a spy during World War I. She was pivotal to the Civil Rights Movement afterwards–all while being a fabulous cabaret singer. Kate Warne was more than the first lady detective. She saved the life of President-Elect Abraham Lincoln and the list does not end there. In the literary front, Mary Shelley’s influence goes beyond simply writing Frankenstein.

The writer-artists who contributed to this book include Maris Wicks, Brittney Williams, Little Corvus, Chan Chau, Kiku Hughes, Yao Xiao, Sarah Winifred Searle, K.L. Ricks, Kat Leyh, Weshoyot Alvitre, Mari Naomi, Naomi Franquiz, Alitha E. Martinez, Emil Ferris, Lucy Knisley, Shauna J. Grant, Molly Brooks, Jackie Roche, Emily Flake, Ashley A. Woods, Sophie Goldstein, Erin Bried, Shannon Wright, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Rebecca Mock, and Lucy Bellwood.

Each of these talents have their own distinctive style to illustrate the story of each historical figure. To summarize the contributions of each noisemaker in a few pages is no easy task. There’s enough content to explain why these women were dedicated to their respective interests, and for those who to know more, I can easily picture an electronic version which can expand to show videos and highlight reels of their work. For example, even though Jacques Cousteau opened our eyes to the ocean and its many wonders, I feel it was Eugenie Clark who taught us how not to fear sharks!

They are all Wonder Women. When learning about any of these ladies in social studies can seem boring, perhaps using other methods of enlightenment can help. The illustrated form helps show what these ladies did. Audio visual aids exist for a reason as not everyone are textbook learners. I can easily imagine instructors asking students to write an essay to further explore why these ladies are truly pioneers. When the average class size in elementary schools is just exactly 25, to let students choose can be a challenge.

Table of Contents (not in order)

  • Mary Shelley by Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing is Monsters)
  • Hallie Daggett by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me)
  • Josephine Baker by Alitha E. Martinez (Black Panther: World of Wakanda)
  • Julia Child by Lucy Knisley (Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos)
  • Hedy Lamarr by Sarah Winifred Searle (Sincerely, Harriet)
  • Jeanne Baret by Lucy Bellwood (Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea)
  • Wangari Maathai by Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!)
  • Raye Montague by Yao Xiao (Everything Is Beautiful, And I’m Not Afraid)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt by Emily Flake (Lulu Eightball)
  • Bessie Coleman by Shannon Wright (Betty Before X)
  • Ida Lewis by Rebecca Mock (Compass South)
  • Rosa Parks by Ashley A. Woods (Tomb Raider: Survivor’s Crusade)
  • Eugenie Clark by Maris Wicks (Primates)
  • Mary Anning, by Little Corvus (The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York)
  • Caroline Herschel by Chan Chau (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: Sirens)
  • Emily Warren Roebling by Kiku Hughes (Displacement)
  • Madam C. J. Walker by K. L. Ricks (Naima)
  • Annie Londonderry by Kat Leyh (Lumberjanes)
  • Maria Tallchief by Weshoyot Alvitre (Alice Sixkiller)
  • Junko Tabei by MariNaomi (Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories)
  • Frida Kahlo by Naomi Franquiz (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl)
  • Maya Angelou by Shauna J. Grant (Princess Love Pon)
  • Kate Warne by Molly Brooks (Sanity & Tallulah)
  • Nelly Bly by Jackie Roche (Escape from Syria)
  • Mother Jones by Sophie Goldstein (House of Women)

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