Leave It to Abigail! The Revolutionary Life of Abigail Adams

Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley. Little, Brown, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-41571-2
This biographical picture book bills Abigail Adams as a woman who rose to every challenge. The book’s title acts as a refrain as readers see Abigail fly in the face of her era’s niceties (“Everyone knew that good girls kept quiet”), manage a complex household and farm on her own during wartime, suggest to her husband rights for America’s women, and serve as his closest presidential advisor. The artwork combines elements of cross-stitch needlework with illustrations that have a high-spirited, comic-strip sensibility, and the story moves along briskly as Abigail’s life and her loving, often epistolary relationship with John unfolds in tandem with the birth of the new republic. While an author’s note acknowledges that Abigail did not believe women should be equal “in the modern sense,” both Rosenstock and Baddeley tell her story with plenty of verve and forthrightly feminist swagger. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 04/18/2019
Release date: 02/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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