Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara & Manal Mirza
Every adult has probably heard Malala Yousafzai’s story, and so I’m delighted that one of my favorite early-reader biography series has added this to the illustrious roster of the LPBD series. For #SweetsAndSocialJustice this week I bring you a small coffe-chocolate bundt with espresso glaze! How and why did I choose this? I had some leftover batter from another recipe and decided to make my favorite little shaped cake.
In line with the other books in the series, a brief overview of Malala’s life is given, focusing on the attack she endured for demanding an education. Being shot is mentioned, but not shown, in the book (which I feel is an excellent choice for developmental appropriateness).
I really love the illustrations, and that Muslim illustrator Manal Mirza was chosen for this project. There is varied representation in the characters, some in hijabs and some not. Malala’s resilience and refusal to back down with her mission has inspired millions around the world, and she continues to advocate for children’s rights and education on the global stage. In the back is a timeline with several photos of Malala at different ages, and more information about her activism.
This book was kindly sent by Quarto, but all opinions are my own.
Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara is the author and creator of the inspirational best-selling series Little People, BIG DREAMS. Growing up in the ’70s in Barcelona, her heroines were Pippi Longstocking, Momo and Tinkerbell, and she felt great admiration for the Spanish poet Gloria Fuertes. She dreamed of becoming a poet just like her one day. It took Maria Isabel almost 40 years and most of her savings to make her dream come true. In 2012, after 20 years of working in advertising, she self-published her first book. Two years later, she released what was meant to be a birth present for her twin nieces, Alba and Claudia: the very first title in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series.
Manal is a designer and illustrator based in Chicago, Illinois. Being a young Muslim-American-Pakistani woman, her illustrations highlight the different identities that she juggles day to day and aims to empower woman around the world. Her Illustrations focus on using positivity to motivate her audience through a personal lens.