Yes, Billie Jean King, Dr. Mae Jemison, and Malala Yousafzai were all babies at one time.
On each recto, there is a flap with the picture of a grown-up feminist icon. When the flap is opened, readers see a baby picture of this individual in a scene that includes an item that was visible through a die-cut hole. Grown-up Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lace collar turns into baby Ruth’s bib, and both adult Frida Kahlo and baby Frida wear flowers in their hair. The patterned text is a series of simple reverse-order statements, each of which starts on the verso and finishes beneath the flap with a repeated refrain: “Before she imagined peace, Yoko Ono was… / a baby.” Walker adeptly creates recognizable images of well-known figures, but the expansive, cream-colored backgrounds dwarf and isolate many of the babes under the flaps. While empowering young girls is a worthy goal, the historical significance of these figures is likely to be lost on youngsters who are still learning the meanings of yesterday and today. The disembodied raised fists of adult Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes in their famous Esquire magazine photo and the baby-sized counterpart fists are particularly confusing. The four concluding double-page spreads consist of a review of the figures who have come before, some encouragement to follow in their footsteps, and a one- to two-sentence biography of each.
Simultaneously iconic, well-meaning, and developmentally inappropriate. (Board book. 1-3)