It’s a quiet Friday morning and as I’m sipping my coffee with this book on my lap, I can’t stop thinking how this one book: Standing on Her Shoulders: A Celebration of Women by Monica Clark-Robinson and Laura Freeman can be the curriculum for a whole year. The minute you hold the book, you know you are in for a history lesson that every child should have access to. This book is a tribute to our ancestors, to all the women and femmes presenting that paved and are paving the way so that others can exist and breath in this world. The book highlights three generations of a small family who pass women’s history down to their daughters.
The author Monica Clark-Robinson shares that this book was inspired and created as she was expecting the birth of her second daughter. One of her friends asked her to imagine expanding the circle of women behind her, supporting her. When that imagination took place, the visual she gather included her ancestors, elders and other women who are shattering those glass ceilings so others can keep on climbing. And that’s how this book was born. Through each page, the author takes us on a celebration and journey through time. The cover alone is a point of discussion with students: who do you see? do you know who they are? do you know what they did or are doing to change the world?
The book would not have had the same impact without the work of art that illustrator Laura Freeman brought to the book. Each page is a work of art. Each women is beautifully crafted in colors and lines. Laura Freeman shares in the note section of the book how much she has learned about these women while engaging in this process. These are all little details worth sharing with our children. It’s important for them to see how we are all learners in this process.
Women’s History should be celebrated all throughout the year because the more we understand about the struggles women went through and the fights they fought for us, the more we understand the responsibility we have in carrying on the torch for others to live.