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I COULD DO THAT! by Linda Arms White


Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote

by Linda Arms White & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-33527-3
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

A fictionalized biography of woman suffrage pioneer Esther Morris introduces her to readers at the age of six, as she studies her mother making tea and decides, “I can do that.” That can-do attitude carries her through adversity and hardship, as she establishes a hat shop, fights (unsuccessfully) for the land of her deceased first husband, sends her son off to fight in the Civil War and moves to Wyoming Territory. All the while, as she sees the men going off to the polls, she fumes that she is not allowed. Putting her tea-making skills to good use, she lobbies for the right to vote, winning it for all the women of Wyoming—an American first. White’s text vividly builds a larger-than-life character, whose calm “I can do that,” punctuates every decision she makes. Carpenter’s sunny illustrations makes the most of Esther’s actual size (six feet) and inner strength, as her erect frame marches calmly through every situation life throws at her. A rollicking good story, the narrative is followed up by an author’s note that explains the facts known about Morris and resources for further exploration. (Picture book. 5-9)