Malala. Grace Lee, for Amazing Babes, by Eliza Sarlos, 2013. Image courtesy of Grace Lee.

Malala Yousafzai is a real life contemporary girl heroine. Almost everything about her story makes her an inspiration to young and old, men and women alike. She shared her story about living under Taliban rule in Pakistan with the world through her blog when she was only 11 years old. For her honesty and outspoken ways, but especially for being a girl who was going to school, she was shot in the head by the Taliban at 16. Through an incredible amount of luck, hard work and sheer will to live, Malala has recovered and thrived. Since then she has written a book and tours the globe speaking out for the rights of girls, especially to an education.

Amazing Babes is a children’s book, written by Eliza Sarlos for her son, about important and heroic women and girls throughout recent history. It features illustrated portraits of the women and girls by Grace Lee. These portraits are both realistic and interpretive of the individual characters of the these women.

Each portrait stands on its own and gives honor to the person it represents. Malala is familiar in her head scarf and her big brown eyes draw us in to remind viewers of what she has seen and been through. The lighter colors used in her clothing and background hint at her innocence, mixed with lavender which typically symbolizes grace and femininity. Lavender, being a lighter version of purple, may also symbolize Malala’s transformation into a leader and her wisdom.

Although intended for a young audience, readers of all ages can benefit from learning about these amazing individuals. There are females featured who endured incredible hardships that might be challenging (but necessary) to discuss with kids for them to gain both knowledge and perspective of the plight of women and girls around the world.

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