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[This bibliography is number 63 in the series “Wisconsin Bibliographies in Women’s Studies7quot; published by the University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Librarian’s Office, 430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison, WI 53706.]
Aardema, Verna, reteller. Bimwili and the Zimwi. Illustrated by Susan Meddaugh. New York: Dial, 1985.
When captured by an ogre, an East African girl thinks of a clever way to signal for help. Tanzanian tale. Folklore.
Aardema, Verna, reteller. Borreguita and the Coyote. Illustrated by Petra Mathers. New York: Knopf, 1991.
In a tale from Ayutla, Mexico, a ewe lamb outwits Coyote four ways, each more delicious than the last. Folklore.
Alderson, Sue Ann. Ida and the Wool Smugglers. Illustrated by Ann Blades. New York: Macmillan, 1987.
When small Ida hears a band of smugglers at work, she knows sheep will be stolen if she runs for help, so she tackles the problem herself.
Alexander, Martha. Even That Moose Won’t Listen to Me. New York: Dial, 1988.
Everyone is too busy to listen when Rebecca says a moose is eating the garden, so she puts on her monster suit and gives the moose a piece of her mind.
Alexander, Sue. Nadia the Willful. Illustrated by Lloyd Bloom. New York: Pantheon, 1983.
When her brother disappears in the desert, Nadia defies her father, a Bedouin sheik, in order to keep her brother’s memory alive.
Allen, Jeffrey. Mary Alice, Operator Number Nine. Illustrated by James Marshall. Boston: Little, Brown, 1975.
Mary Alice is more than a telephone operator who happens to be a duck. When she gets a cold, everyone in town finds out how indispensable she really is. Series.
Andrews, Jan. Very Last First Time. Illustrated by Ian Wallace. New York: Atheneum, 1985.
During the long Alaskan winter, an Inuit girl climbs beneath the ice at low tide to hunt for mussels–a dangerous job.
Aylesworth, Jim. Hanna’s Hog. Illustrated by Glen Rounds. New York: Atheneum, 1988.
When her hog disappears, Hanna is sure she knows who is responsible. “A bear must have taken your hog,” the fellow snorts, and Hanna sets out to beat him at his own game.
Babbitt, Natalie. Phoebe’s Revolt. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1968.
An active 8-year-old living in 1904, Phoebe Brown tries a bathtub sit-in to win the right to wear clothes appropriate to her activities. Verse.
Bauer, Caroline Feller. My Mom Travels a Lot. Illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker. New York: Puffin, 1981.
A girl lists good and bad things about her mom’s travels. Among the good things is more time with Dad. Among the bad: Dad can never find her boots.
Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline. New York: Viking, 1939.
The smallest girl in Miss Clavel’s Parisian boarding school, Madeline is not afraid of mice or tigers, and she sports her appendectomy scar like a badge of honor. Series.
Berry, Christine. Mama Went Walking. Illustrated by Maria Cristina Brusca. New York: Holt, 1990.
When Mama tells Sarah stories about imaginary adventures in places like the Ropacactus Canyon, Sarah is never far behind her, thinking up wild rescue scenarios.
Blake, Quentin. Mrs. Armitage on Wheels. New York: Knopf, 1987.
A wiry woman, Mrs. Armitage devises an ingenious locomotive contraption from a bicycle.
Blake, Quentin. The Story of the Dancing Frog. New York: Dragonfly, 1984.
After discovering a frog named George dancing on a lily pad, Great-Aunt Gertrude becomes his manager and puts him on the stage.
Blegvad, Lenore. Anna Banana and Me. Illustrated by Eric Blegvad. New York: Atheneum, 1985.
Anna Banana knows about magic, goes scary places, gets leaves in her hair. A timid boy becomes Anna’s friend, and learns to laugh at goblins. Urban setting.
Booth, Barbara D. Mandy. Illustrated by Jim Lamarche. New York: Lothrop, 1991.
Unable to hear since birth, Mandy takes a big risk to find the cameo pin Grandma has lost.
Caines, Jeannette. Just Us Women. Illustrated by Pat Cummings. New York: Harper, 1982.
An African American girl makes plans with her Aunt Martha to drive all the way to North Carolina.
Carlstrom, Nancy White. Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. New York: Macmillan, 1987.
A young African American girl climbs and digs in a sun-drenched garden.
Cohen, Barbara. Molly’s Pilgrim. Illustrated by Michael J. Deraney. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1983.
A Jewish immigrant, Molly is mortified when her classmates make fun of her. But when they laugh at a Pilgrim doll Molly’s mama has made for Thanksgiving, Molly fights back.
Cole, Babette. Princess Smartypants. New York: Putnam, 1986.
The only suitor to match Princess Smartypants in physical courage proves to be a self-satisfied sort, and Smartypants fractures his fairy tale.
Cole, Brock. Alpha and the Dirty Baby. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1991.
Alpha has her work cut out for her when a pair of slovenly imps cast a spell on her parents after they argue about housekeeping. Also available in Spanish (Alfa y el bebe sucio, Farrar, Straus, 1991).
Cooney, Barbara. Hattie and the Wild Waves. New York: Viking, 1990.
Hattie’s well-to-do family takes it for granted she’ll grow up to be a proper married lady. But Hattie goes her own way, whistling when she shouldn’t, painting pictures when she can.
Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. New York: Puffin, 1982.
Alice Rumphius has a career, travels to exotic places, and retires by the sea. Then she remembers a childhood promise to her grandfather to make the world more beautiful.
de la Mare, Walter, reteller. Molly Whuppie. Illustrated by Errol Le Cain. New York: Farrar, Straus Giroux, 1959.
The youngest and cleverest of three sisters, Molly Whuppie tries her hand at outwitting a giant in this English tale. Folklore.
de Paola, Tomie. Helga’s Dowry: A Troll Love Story. San Diego: Harcourt, 1977.
A poor orphan troll, Helga has no dowry to offer Handsome Lars. After earning one by flim-flamming greedy folks, Helga has second thoughts about her intended.
de Paola, Tomie, reteller. The Legend of the Bluebonnet: An Old Tale of Texas. New York: Putnam, 1983.
The Great Spirits told the Comanche People to make a sacrifice to end a drought that had killed many. A small girl realized what needed to be done. Texas legend. Folklore.
Emberley, Michael. Ruby. Boston: Little, Brown, 1990.
While carrying goodies to Granny’s house, a street-wise girl mouse meets a stranger with cat food breath. He expects to eat a gourmet lunch at Granny’s, but Ruby has a better idea.
Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Miss Penny and Mr. Grubbs. New York: Bradbury, 1991.
Jealous that Miss Penny’s vegetables win prizes at the fair every year, underhanded Mr. Grubbs tries to keep her from winning another.
Ernst, Lisa Campbell. Nattie Parsons’ Good-Luck Lamb. New York: Viking, 1988.
When hard times come, Nattie’s grandfather says her pet lamb will have to be sold, but Nattie’s ingenuity and her pet’s dumb luck get him a reprieve.
Everitt, Betsy. Mean Soup. San Diego: Harcourt, 1992.
After a bad day at school, Horace feels mean, so his mother cooks up a roiling, boiling antidote to bad temper.
Gantschev, Ivan. The Christmas Train. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.
When a rockslide buries a treacherous section of railroad track high in the mountains, a small girl is determined to warn the oncoming train. Translated from German.
Gauch, Patricia Lee. Christina Katerina and the Great Bear Train. Illustrated by Elise Primavera. New York: Putnam, 1990.
Beset by missile-hurling boys and caught in a storm, feisty Christina Katerina has no fear, but her teddy bear passengers get wet and a bit nervous. Series.
Gauch, Patricia Lee. This Time, Tempe Wick? Illustrated by Margot Tomes. New York: Coward, McCann, 1974.
When George Washington’s soldiers tried to steal a young woman’s horse, she responded with cunning, then with force, to keep what was hers. New Jersey legend. Folklore.
Gibbons, Gail. Marge’s Diner. New York: Crowell, 1989.
Marge orders the supplies, pays the bills, and keeps track of customers’ birthdays. It’s all in a day’s work.
Goble, Paul. The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses. Scarsdale, N.Y.: Bradbury, 1978.
When a storm stampeded a Southwest tribe’s horses, a girl of the tribe rode away with them, leaving her people to wonder if she would ever return.
Greenblat, Rodney A. Aunt Ippy’s Museum of Junk. New York: Harper, 1991.
Two youngsters learn the value of junk and imagination from energetic, recycling-minded Aunt Ippy.
Haas, Irene. The Maggie B. New York: Atheneum, 1975.
While wishing for a ship bearing her name, young Margaret Barnstable falls asleep. She wakes on the Maggie B. and takes charge of her ship under the watchful eye of a toucan.
Hayes, Sarah. Mary Mary. Illustrated by Karen Ritz. New York: McElderry, 1990.
Mary Mary befriends a lonely giant whom everyone else fears, and her town finally sees what a girl who knows her own mind can do.
Hedderwick, Mairi. Katie Morag and the Two Grandmothers. Boston: Little, Brown, 1985.
Overall-wearing sheep farmer Grannie Island doesn’t appreciate Grandma Mainland’s fancy ways, but Katie Morag shows her they can be handy. Set in Scotland. Series.
Henkes, Kevin. Sheila Rae, the Brave. New York: Puffin, 1987.
Sheila Rae steps on every crack, growls at stray dogs, and makes fun of her fearful sister. Then Sheila Rae gets lost, and thinks twice about who’s brave and who’s not.
Herman, Emily. Hubknuckles. Illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray. New York: Crown, 1985.
A ghost Lee’s family calls Hubknuckles appears at the kitchen window each Halloween night, but this year Lee swears she’ll dance with him.
Heyward, DuBose. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes: As Told to Jennifer. Illustrated by Marjorie Flack. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1939.
All the strong, swift bunnies laugh when a little girl bunny vows she’ll be chosen to deliver Easter eggs some day.
Hoban, Russell. Best Friends for Frances. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. New York: Harper, 1969.
Frozen out of a baseball game by her friend Albert, Frances the badger organizes a “no boys” outing. Will baseball become an equal opportunity sport? Series.
Hoffman, Mary. Amazing Grace. Illustrated by Caroline Binch. New York: Dial, 1991.
Other kids say Grace can’t be Peter Pan in her class play because Peter was a boy and white, but Grace tries for the part anyway.
Holabird, Katharine. Angelina and Alice. Illustrated by Helen Craig. New York: Potter, 1987.
Angelina and Alice are daring mouse gymnasts and rollicking best friends–until they have a falling-out before the big gymnastics show at the village festival. Series.
Houston, Gloria. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. New York: Dial, 1988.
Papa is away in the World War, so Ruthie and Mama go up Grandfather Mountain to cut a Christmas tree for the village church. Set in Appalachia.
Hughes, Shirley. Angel Mae: A Tale of Trotter Street. New York: Lothrop, 1989.
It looks as if Mae’s parents will miss her stint as the Angel Gabriel in the school Christmas play, but she keeps a stiff upper lip in the “show must go on” tradition. Series.
Hurd, Thacher. The Pea Patch Jig. New York: Crown, 1986.
Baby Mouse is as full of life as Farmer Clem’s barnyard. She hurls tomatoes, gets herself into a tight spot, and dances the jig in the moonlight. Series.
Jeffers, Susan, reteller and illustrator. Wild Robin. New York: Dutton, 1976.
One day unruly Robin gets a well-deserved scolding, runs away, and falls under the spell of the fairy people. Guided by a dream, his brave sister rescues him. Folklore.
Jensen, Virginia Allen. Sara and the Door. Illustrated by Ann Strugnell. New York: Lippincott, 1977.
When an African American toddler comes in alone from playing outside, she finds herself in an awkward predicament and figures out how to handle it.
Jukes, Mavis. No One Is Going to Nashville. Illustrated by Lloyd Bloom. New York: Knopf, 1983.
Future veterinarian Sonia spots a stray dog on her door step. She knows he’s her dog, but her father and her “wicked stepmother” will take some convincing.
Kesselman, Wendy. Emma. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1980.
Her orange cat was Emma’s only company–until, at seventy-two, she took up painting. She was still mostly alone, but never lonely.
Khalsa, Dayal Kaur. Cowboy Dreams. New York: Potter, 1990.
A city girl who dreams of being a cowboy saddles up a stairway banister and heads into an imaginary landscape.
Kidd, Nina. June Mountain Secret. New York: Harper, 1991.
Hip-booted Jen is an experienced angler, but her efforts in an unusual mountain stream give way to frustration until her dad teaches her to think like a trout.
Kitamura, Satoshi. Lily Takes a Walk. New York: Dutton, 1987.
Nothing fazes sturdy Lily when she takes a walk with her dog, but monsters Lily doesn’t see make the dog a nervous wreck.
Komaiko, Leah. Annie Bananie. Illustrated by Laura Cornell. New York: Harper, 1987.
Annie Bananie and her best friend are mischievous free spirits who thrive on each other’s shenanigans. But now Annie is moving away, and they wonder what the future will bring.
Krause, Ute. Nora and the Great Bear. New York: Dial, 1989.
A girl who has learned to hit a bullseye blindfolded stalks the Great Bear, but it is he who finds her, and wins her admiration.
Krauss, Ruth. A Hole Is to Dig. Illustrated by Maurice Sendak. New York: Harper, 1952.
In this classic for pre-schoolers, little girls and little boys dig holes, build forts, dance, and ignore traditional sex roles.
Lee, Jeanne M. Silent Lotus. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1991.
An ostracized deaf girl kept company with egrets and herons, grew to be graceful, and became the Khmer kingdom’s most famous dancer.
Lindgren, Astrid. Lotta’s Christmas Surprise. Illustrated by Ilon Wikland. New York: R & S, 1978.
There are no more Christmas trees for sale in her town this year, but Lotta is a determined girl. Translated from Swedish. Series.
Lionni, Leo. Tillie and the Wall. New York: Knopf, 1990.
The mice who live near the wall never question it–except for Tillie, who is a very curious, tenacious mouse.
Ludwig, Warren, reteller and illustrator. Good Morning, Granny Rose. New York: Putnam, 1990.
Caught in the mountains by a snowstorm, Granny Rose takes shelter in a dry cave, and finds she has big, restless company. Folklore.
Luenn, Nancy. Nessa’s Fish. Illustrated by Neil Waldman. New York: Atheneum, 1990.
Forced to stay on the ice all night after a day of ice-fishing, an Inuit girl ingeniously and amusingly protects her grandmother and their catch from predators.
Marshall, James. The Cut-Ups. New York: Viking, 1984.
Spud and Joe meet their match in Mary Frances Hooley. She has a spaceship, drives a soap-box car, and knows how to make use of a couple of cut-ups. Series.
Marshall, James. George and Martha. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972.
George and Martha are a playfully competitive pair of hippos. George is a practical joker and tease, but Martha gives better than she gets. Series.
Mayer, Mercer. Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp. New York: Parents’ Magazine Press, 1976.
When Liza Lou’s mother sends her on errands, she always warns her to be wary round the Yeller Belly Swamp, but Momma needn’t worry about Liza Lou.
Mayer, Mercer. There’s Something in My Attic. New York: Dial, 1988.
Mom and Dad pooh-pooh strange nighttime noises, so the sleepless young heroine sets out to prove there’s something in the attic.
McKissack, Patricia. Flossie and the Fox. Illustrated by Rachel Isadora. New York: Dial, 1986.
When an arrogant old fox chats her up along the road, self-possessed Flossie drives him to distraction with her quick wit. African American. Folklore.
McKissack, Patricia. Mirandy and Brother Wind. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. New York: Knopf, 1988.
A turn-of-the-century African American girl is set on dancing with magical, high-steppin’ Brother Wind at the Junior Cakewalk contest. Author’s adaptation of a family story.
McLerran, Alice. Roxaboxen. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. New York: Lothrop, 1991.
Marian is mayor of Roxaboxen, a place on a hill in the desert where children create a state of mind with abandoned crates, bits of glass and odd black stones.
Miller, M. L. Dizzy from Fools. Illustrated by Eve Tharlet. Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio, 1985.
The princess wants to be Court Fool, but fooling is a male job in her father’s kingdom.
Nash, Ogden. The Adventures of Isabel. Illustrated by James Marshall. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991.
In Nash’s witty poem, able Isabel has a string of encounters with horrid things, leaving them all the worse for wear.
Nixon, Joan Lowery. You Bet Your Britches, Claude. Illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson. New York: Viking, 1989.
A Texas pioneer named Shirley takes a sharp-eyed, suspicious orphan girl under her wing, and the two of them flatten a crime wave. Series.
Olson, Arielle North. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. Illustrated by Elaine Wentworth. Boston: Little, Brown, 1987.
When violent storms keep Miranda’s father from returning to their island lighthouse, it’s up to Miranda to keep beacons burning in the lighthouse tower. Based on a true story.
Pfanner, Louise. Louise Builds a House. New York: Orchard, 1987.
Piece by fanciful piece, Louise raises a monument to imagination. Series.
Phillips, Mildred. The Sign in Mendel’s Window. Illustrated by Margot Zemach. New York: Macmillan, 1985.
When Mendel’s tenant accuses him of wrongdoing, the police can’t sort out the mess. It takes a clever woman to do that.
Pinkwater, Daniel. Aunt Lulu. New York: Macmillan, 1988.
Aunt Lulu is a librarian who lives quietly in New Jersey, but she has a team of Huskies and a past: delivering books to Alaskan miners by dogsled.
Polacco, Patricia. Thunder Cake. New York: Philomel, 1990.
As a storm nears, a young girl’s Russian-born grandmother–her “Babushka”–helps her conquer fear of thunder by asking her to gather ingredients for a “thunder cake.”
Rappaport, Doreen, reteller. The Journey of Meng. Illustrated by Yang Ming-Yi. New York: Dial, 1991.
Meng showed the Chinese emperor for a cruel tyrant by tricking him into honoring her husband, one of many forced laborers who died building the Great Wall. Folklore.
Ringgold, Faith. Tar Beach. New York: Crown, 1991.
An imaginative African American girl soars above tarred Harlem rooftops, hovers over the George Washington Bridge, and gives people she loves all she wants them to have.
Root, Phyllis. Soup for Supper. Illustrated by Sue Truesdell. New York: Harper, 1986.
When a giant takes to raiding her garden, a clever old woman figures out a way to make the best of the situation.
Schroeder, Alan. Ragtime Tumpie. Illustrated by Bernie Fuchs. Boston: Little, Brown, 1989.
At Medicine Man’s ragtime dance contest, a jubilant girl drove the crowd wild. Based on the early life of African American performer and humanitarian, Josephine Baker.
Schwartz, Amy. Bea and Mr. Jones. New York: Bradbury, 1982.
When Bea announces she’s tired of kindergarten, her father admits he’s tired of running for the 7:45 train. They decide to change places for a day, and that’s just the beginning.
Schwartz, Henry. How I Captured a Dinosaur. Illustrated by Amy Schwartz. New York: Orchard, 1989.
Eight-year-old Liz Bradford knows that dinosaur bones have been found near the place where her family is camping, so she does some prospecting.
Seed, Jenny. Ntombi’s Song. Boston: Beacon, 1987.
A contemporary Zulu girl’s trip through the forest to buy sugar for her mother becomes a rite of passage in this triumphant growing-up story set in South Africa.
Sendak, Maurice. Higgelty Piggelty Pop! or There Must Be More to Life. New York: Harper, 1967.
Jennie the dog has everything, from a red wool sweater to a master who loves her, but she feels she’s missing something, so she packs a bag and ventures into the world.
Sendak, Maurice. The Sign on Rosie’s Door. New York: Harper, 1960.
Sometimes Rosie is Alinda the lady singer, and sometimes she can be found with a blanket over her head, but she’s always the center of attention when neighborhood kids gather.
Smalls-Hector, Irene. Irene and the Big, Fine Nickel. Illustrated by Tyrone Geter. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991.
Growing up African American in Harlem in the Fifties was still a little like living in a small town, but a girl needed to know how to hold her own with other kids, and Irene knew how.
Stamm, Claus. Three Strong Women: A Tale from Japan. Illustrated by Jean and Mou-sien Tseng. New York: Viking, 1990.
When wrestler Forever Mountain tickles a girl on the road, he can’t seem to free his hand from her apparently effortless grasp. Then he meets the rest of her family. Folklore.
Stanley, Fay. The Last Princess. Illustrated by Diane Stanley. New York: Four Winds, 1991.
When her country faced forced annexation by the United States, 17 year old Princess Ka’iulani of Hawaii eloquently stated her people’s case to U.S. President Grover Cleveland.
Steig, William. Brave Irene. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1986.
Irene vows to deliver the gown her mother has made to the duchess for tonight’s ball. Snow is falling, wind is blowing, and night is near, but Irene perseveres. Also available in Spanish (Irene, la valiente, Farrar, Straus, 1991).
Turkle, Brinton. Do Not Open. New York: Dutton, 1981.
Neither the storm that howls around her house nor the fanged apparition that jumps out of a storm-tossed bottle worries imperturbable Miss Moody in the slightest.
Turkle, Brinton. Rachel and Obadiah. New York: Dutton, 1978.
Rachel and Obadiah Starbuck compete to be the runner who will bring news of a great sailing ship’s arrival to an 1800’s Nantucket town. Series.
Waddell, Martin. The Tough Princess. Illustrated by Patrick Benson. New York: Philomel, 1986.
The king schemes to put Princess Rosamund under a prince-luring spell, but robust Rosamund busts up his plan.
Wells, Rosemary. Benjamin & Tulip. New York: Dial, 1973.
Whenever Benjamin passes her house, two-fisted Tulip tells him what she’s going to do to him, then does it to him. These are raccoons worth watching.
Wells, Rosemary. Hazel’s Amazing Mother. New York: Dial, 1985.
When Hazel the raccoon wanders into a bit of trouble in a strange neighborhood, her mother drops by to teach Hazel’s tormentors a lesson.
Wells, Rosemary. Max’s First Word. New York: Dial, 1979.
Ruby’s formidable efforts to control her baby brother don’t faze cunning, self-absorbed Max–a recurring theme for these charismatic “board book” bunnies. Max and Ruby also appear in standard-size picture books for growing Max and Ruby fans. Series.
Wells, Rosemary. Noisy Nora. New York: Dial, 1973.
Nora the mouse passes time making things go bang, her parents scold her, and she runs away. But her family misses Nora, and rejoices at her exuberant return.
Willard, Nancy. The High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake. Illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson. San Diego: Harcourt, 1990.
Mom wants the kind of birthday cake Great-Grandmother once made her, so her purposeful daughter searches Great-Grandmother’s notebooks for the recipe, with stunning results.
Williams, Vera B. A Chair for My Mother. New York: Greenwillow, 1982.
A resourceful Latina girl saves some of her earnings from the Blue Tile Cafe toward a comfortable chair where her mama, a waitress, can rest her feet. Series.
Williams, Vera B. Cherries and Cherry Pits. New York: Greenwillow, 1986.
Animatedly telling stories about pictures she draws, an African American girl inspires a friend.
Williams, Vera B. Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe. New York: Greenwillow, 1981.
The narrator of this story is a lively red-headed girl whose mom and Aunt Rosie organize a three day canoe trip. The women teach wilderness skills to the redhead and her little brother.
Winthrop, Elizabeth. Maggie and the Monster. Illustrated by Tomie dePaola. New York: Holiday House, 1987.
A monster keeps visiting Maggie’s room at night. When it ignores her “Keep Out!” sign, Maggie decides to ask what it wants.
Wolkstein, Diane, reteller. The Magic Wings: A Tale from China. Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker. New York: Dutton, 1983.
A girl who tends geese flaps her arms, hoping to grow wings. Everyone in town mimics her, but the Spirit Who Grows Wings can choose only one person to fly. Folklore.
Yashima, Taro. Umbrella. New York: Viking, 1958.
On her third birthday, a Japanese girl receives an umbrella and boots. When she finally tries them out, she grows up a little. Series.
Yolen, Jane. The Emperor and the Kite. Illustrated by Ed Young. New York: Philomel, 1988.
When enemies of the Emperor of China kidnap him, his older children flee, but the smallest princess sets out to rescue her father.
Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon. Illustrated by John Schoenherr. New York: Philomel, 1987.
A little girl and her pa hike through snowy woods looking for owls on a quiet, moonlit night.
Young, Ed. Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China. New York: Philomel, 1989.
A girl uses her wits to kill a wolf dressed up as Po Po, her grandmother. Folklore
Zemach, Margot, reteller. The Little Red Hen: An Old Story. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1983.
Whenever there’s work to be done, the other animals leave it to the little red hen. But one day she cooks up something that teaches them a lesson. Folklore.
©Claudia Morrow 1992. Permission to copy is granted to libraries and educational institutions so long as the author is credited. Others apply for permission c/o Sisters’ Choice Recordings & Books, 1450 6th St., Berkeley CA 94710.
Supplement: Resourceful Females in Ten Picture Story Books That Are Out of Print (But Shouldn’t Be)
selected and annotated by Claudia Morrow
Ardizzone, Edward. Diana and Her Rhinoceros. New York: Walck, Inc., 1964.
Mr. and Mrs. Effingham-Jones are having tea when a rhinoceros enters their parlor. They panic, but their sensible daughter feeds the sniffling beast a plate of hot buttered toast.
Asbjornsen, P. C., reteller. The Squire’s Bride. Illustrated by Marcia Sewall. New York: Atheneum, 1975.
When a Norwegian farmer’s daughter refuses to marry a rich squire, the farmer and the squire conspire to railroad her to the altar, but the girl has a surprise in store. Folklore.
Diamond, Donna, reteller. The Seven Ravens. New York: Viking, 1979.
While fretting over his fragile newborn daughter, a father wishes his sons turned to ravens, and they are. Their sister grows, learns their fate, and sets out to rescue them. Folklore.
Isadora, Rachel. Opening Night. New York: Greenwillow, 1984.
In her ballet debut, Heather experiences the careful preparation and nervous laughter that precede performance the world over, and radiantly dances the part of an elegant bug.
Lawrence, Jacob. Harriet and the Promised Land. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968.
A poem remembers the courage of African American heroine Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of escaped slaves to freedom. Lawrence’s illustrations are expressive and bold.
McClenathan, Louise. My Mother Sends Her Wisdom. Illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman. New York: Morrow, 1979.
When Mama sends Katya to pay old Boris, the moneylender, she always sends along a riddle for good measure. When will Boris learn how much a woman’s wisdom is worth?
Uchida, Yoshiko. Sumi’s Prize. Illustrated by Kazue Mizumura. New York: Scribner’s, 1964.
When her teacher announces a kite-flying contest, Sumi is the only girl in her small Japanese town to enter. Series.
Van Woerkom, Dorothy, reteller. Alexandra the Rock-Eater. Illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman. New York: Knopf, 1978.
In return for livestock of her own, the desperate but clever mother of one hundred children agrees to try to rid the neighborhood of a marauding dragon. Folklore.
Williams, Jay. Petronella. Illustrated by Friso Henstra. New York: Parents’ Magazine Press, 1973.
When her brothers ride out to seek their fortunes, Petronella insists on doing the same. Told there’s a captive prince at the castle of Albion the enchanter, she goes there to rescue him.
Williams, Jay. The Practical Princess. Illustrated by Friso Henstra. New York: Parents’ Magazine Press, 1969.
Princess Bedelia has beauty and grace, but it’s her common sense that helps her slay a dragon, outwit a creepy suitor, and rescue a bewitched prince.