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GIRLS A TO Z by Eve Bunting


by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Suzanne Bloom

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 1-56397-147-X
Publisher: Boyds Mills

The sky’s the limit for Bunting’s (Sing a Song of Piglets, p. 1218, etc.) assemblage of vivacious young ladies who imagine themselves in every profession under the sun. A simple alliterative listing of names and occupations is the basis of this affirming roll call. The exotic roster of appellations is a perfect match for the varied scope of vocations detailed; descriptions range from Gwen the gondolier, Quinn the harvest queen, Windermere the writer, to Ula the umpire. Bunting expands the horizon of employment opportunities for young girls, judiciously offering a blend of traditional and historically less-traditional female pursuits, firmly putting aside the notion of gender-specific employment. Librarians play alongside racecar drivers, a presidential candidate and a homemaker are equally touted, and a computer aficionado shares a spread with a ballerina. The gentle cadence of the rhyming text ties the verses together, unifying the seemingly disparate list of names and occupations. Bloom’s (Piggy Monday, 2001, etc.) exuberantly colored illustrations convey the enthusiasm of these youngsters as they test the waters of possibilities. Like the avocations selected by Bunting, Bloom offers readers a broad spectrum of role models, portraying girls in a range of ethnicities, shapes, and physical characteristics. The final verse succinctly summarizes Bunting’s empowering message: “Girls, / Be anything you want to be. / Do what you want to do. / Dream any dream you want to dream. / The world is here for you. ” A treasure that should be on every young girl’s bookshelf and maybe on a boy’s as well. (Picture book. 4-8)