Madge Eekal Reviews has read and reviewed our latest non-fiction picture book about the infamous Dick, Kerr ladies team and their star player, Lily Parr. Written by Elizabeth Dale and illustrated by Carolina Coroa;
It is not very often that a picture book makes a strong political statement, or that it works as a book for young children when it does. This book, however, does both brilliantly. It is easy to read and highly informative for both adults and children alike. As someone with zero knowledge of football, I was shocked to find that discrimination against women playing football lasted into the 1970s and the first time a woman was formally acknowledged was only last year (2019)! Indeed, it makes me wonder how many other injustices lurk in our society seemingly (or actually) unnoticed.
As a picture book, the story works well. Children often don’t differentiate fact and fiction so many will simply accept this as an interesting story. Older readers who are aware that this is narrative non-fiction, are likely to enjoy the added factual ‘information bubbles’ which include snippets about how many goals Lily scored and the fact she was left-footed. I couldn’t resist going back to re-read these again, enjoying learning about the rise of women’s football during the First World War and becoming incensed all over again at the claims made about the unsuitability of football for women’s bodies!
The illustrations are a perfect match for the text. The pictures are clear enough to show what’s happening yet child friendly and modern enough to be appealing. The book is likely to be a useful resource for teachers of primary school age children, with the pictures and format making it much more engaging for their students than many traditional text books.
If you enjoyed this, you might want to explore other narrative non-fiction stories. Teachers might want to explore the other educational books available from Maverick Publishing, including their useful early reading schemes, which area available for readers at different levels: I’ve posted reviews on levels 3 / 4, and 9 / 10.