Product Details
List Price:
7 to 10
2 to 5
Trim Size:
10" x 10"
Calkins Creek
ISBN-13: 978-1-62979-453-2
Full-color illustrations
Lexile Level:

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About the Book


Belva Lockwood was bold, determined, and strong! This well-researched and strikingly illustrated nonfiction picture book biography explores the remarkable life of this little-known but powerful American activist.

Belva Lockwood—a pioneering advocate for women’s rights—was never afraid to take the floor. Belva dared to dream big, becoming the first woman on the Presidential ballot, even before women had the right to vote! She strived for parity in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. How she stayed true to her ideals despite opposition from her father, her law school, and the Supreme Court—where she was the first woman to argue a case—is a riveting story of achievement against the odds. With wonderfully evocative illustrations by Alison Jay, this deftly told story by award-winning author Kate Hannigan includes an author’s note, a timeline, archival photos, a bibliography, and source notes.


“(An) informative and delightful biography… Hannigan’s style is pithy, but packed with facts. Belva comes alive as a feisty activist…Jay’s signature crackled artwork has a historical look, but also a childlike appeal that will bring the audience close. An excellent example of picture-book biography.” – Booklist, starred review  

“This is an engaging introduction to a woman unknown to many, young and old, giving some insight into her adventurous personality. Her quotes are integrated into the illustrations, executed in oils with a crackle varnish, with a look reminiscent of 19th-century folk art. Soft blues and browns predominate in the naïve paintings, lending to their antique appearance. An excellent, well-researched model of its genre, which will inspire children to do whatever they desire in life, no matter what immediate restrictions exist.” – Kirkus Reviews – starred review  

“Hannigan presents an invigorating account of the life of Belva Lockwood…Working in her distinctively crackled folk style, Jay depicts powerful moments of resistance and courage from Lockwood’s life. Endnotes provide a timeline…highlighting significant events in the ongoing fight for women’s rights.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hannigan thoroughly details Lockwood’s many triumphs, beginning with her childhood and young adult years, and concluding with her unsuccessful, though impressive, run for president. Nearly each page offers a quote from Lockwood’s speeches and writings and most resonate with today’s political climate…A time line provides dates and pertinent facts about the subject and the accomplishments of other women in law and politics. Lockwood’s struggles against great odds in the name of freedom are well outlined in this work. A fine addition to nonfiction collections.” –School Library Journal

"Young Belva Lockwood was afraid of nothing...and refused to be silenced. Students amazed at the fearlessness of this unsung champion of equal pay, equal opportunities, and equal respect for all. Highly Recommended." - School Library Connection, starred review

Meet the Author

Kate Hannigan

Kate Hannigan writes fiction and non-fiction for young readers. A former newspaper journalist, Kate loves digging up facts and snooping into history for good stories to tell. Her picture book A Lady Has the Floor was named a Junior Library Guild Selection, and her historical novel The Detective's Assistant won the Golden Kite Award for best middle-grade novel. You can find Kate devouring stacks of history books or watching history documentaries at her home in Chicago, where she lives with her husband, three kids, and wacky dog. Visit her online at  

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Meet the Illustrator

Alison Jay

Alison Jay has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She is the illustrator of many picture books, including If Kisses Were Colors by Janet Lawler and Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator, and is the author and illustrator of Bee and Me. Alison lives in London, England.

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