All posts tagged: women’s history

The best, most darling children’s picture book I’ve seen in a long time–LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL is a class-act, plus it’s about founding mothers, finding one’s passion, and so much more–Q&A with author and illustrator

By Leslie Lindsay  Darling picture book for young readers–and their caregivers–about the feisty and enterprising first lady, Abigail Adams. ~Books on Monday~ I loved LEAVE IT TO ABIGAIL: The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams (Feb 4, 2020 Little, Brown)! In this inspiring tribute, award-winning author Barb Rosenstock and NYT bestselling illustrator, Elizabeth Baddeley bring to life the amazing and colorful Abigail Adams, one of America’s greatest founding mothers. Everyone knew Abigail was different–in fact, they didn’t expect she’d live after childbirth–but she did. She blurted out questions and she ignored her mother’s chores, she bossed her siblings around, and fell into her father’s books (and taught herself to read)…she eventually tamed herself and became proficient at the many tasks it takes to run a farm, plus baking and sewing, carding, and more. When she was 14 she was ‘promised’ to marry a minister from town, but fell in love with John Adams. He thought she was too headstrong and obnoxious at the time, but five years later, when she was 19 and he 24, they married. I …

From cradleboards to ‘firking like a flounder,’ wet nurses, and more, Sarah Knott unravels the history of mothering in MOTHER IS A VERB

By Leslie Lindsay Timely and fascinating investigation and examination of what it means to be a mother–from the early 15th century through present-day.  MOTHER IS A VERB: An Unconventional History (FSG/Sarah Crichton Books) by Sarah Knott is such a sweeping piece of historical, personal, and lyrical research. It begins with the author’s decision to have children, and thus an examination of who has children and who doesn’t. This is a keenly researched book that is part-memoir, part-history lesson, and to some, it might come across as academic (Knott is, by profession, a college professor at Indiana University). That said, I found the anecdotes and archives presented fascinating and intriguing. The structure of MOTHER IS A VERB is not linear, but rather divided into topics from pregnancy, quickening, miscarriage, labor/delivery, early days, sleeping infants (sleeping parents), including co-sleeping (or not), types of beds, feeding/breastfeeding/other types of nourishment, clothing, and even welcoming the second child. Scattered throughout the narrative are glimpses of the author’s mothering journey, which I felt helped to personalize historical context. Knott’s writing is scholarly, but also companionable. It’s lyrical and …