Historical Heroines: Pure Inspiration for Young Girls

 The author and her daughter

The author and her daughter

Through each of her books, children’s book author Elizabeth Lorayne seeks to inspire. Her first two books inspired children to think about the flora and fauna of the more remote places on earth. Through her haiku and the adventures of Piratess Tilly, the Galapagos and Easter Island came to life.

Her latest book, the first in her Historical Heroines series, is also educational, and interactive, but in the old-fashioned sense of interactive. The way children interacted with a book before iPads and Kindles. It’s coloring book of the pioneering women scientists of the 18th and nineteenth century. There were many. Elizabeth covers 30 in the book and then gives a mention to over twenty more in the additional resources.

The book is brilliantly organized. The choice of scientists covers a broad range of science: mathematics, chemistry, botany, astronomy, physics, genetics, naturalism, botanical and scientific illustration, paleontology, geology, entomology, and zoology. Each scientist has a spread, with a coloring page and a brief bio. Key scientific terms in the bio are highlighted and those words are explained in the glossary. 

sample page of Historical Heroine

In addition to a spread, Elizabeth authors additional resources on each heroine for those who want to further explore the discoveries and life of their favorite heroine. 

As Elizabeth learned of these women’s lives, she was keenly aware of the discrimination they fought at every step, beginning with their education and continuing throughout their careers. 

“What’s most remarkable is how hard these women worked to pursue their passion, their dreams, and their talents despite this discrimination. These women scientists were incredible role models, showing us that no matter the obstacles when you persevere, you can achieve anything.” 

Elizabeth worked with illustrator Kendra Shedenhelm and science historian Michael D. Barton to create the coloring book. The book is available in bookstores and on Amazon.

And… there are dolls to go along with the book!

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“I had worked with Kendra on creating the Piratess Tilly and Yuki dolls so I knew it was possible to take some of her artwork and turn it into a doll.

“For this first doll of Ada Lovelace, I had Kendra extend her dress and make changes to the pattern on her dress a bit. 

“I imagine the scientist pillow-dolls being a fun addition to a tween or even a teens bedroom – something a bit different inspiring, and edgy. How often do you see a brilliant historical woman in science as a pillow, let alone a doll? I included a pocket on the back that has a small card with a bit of information about who Ada Lovelace was.”

 The other side of Ada

The other side of Ada

One Small Customer Spreads Creativity and Good

This past September, Amazon suggested a book for me. A coloring book—Fairies Around the World. Amazon's algorithm must have realized Lucy Claire and I are connected, she was an ExtraSmall Phoebe owner and her mom, Claire, is a talented dollmaker, who I follow on Instagram (and you should too). I needed to hear the story behind this adorable coloring book.

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Lucy's project extended beyond just creating and publishing a coloring book. The coloring books were put into kits. Each kit had art supplies and a copy of Lucy's book all in a tote bag.  Lucy and a friend distributed the kits to children at her local Family Crisis Center. 

 Delivering the kits.

Delivering the kits.

"My coloring book was inspired by lots of things. One day I drew some fairies inspired by my moms tiny Waldorf dolls that my neighbor made fairy wings for. I loved drawing them, putting them in trees, with animals, and I loved how it could be anything I wanted. I could be creative about it. 

"When my mom bought my Phoebe doll for me, she showed me how you donated dolls to little kids each time a doll was purchased; your doll brought me so much happiness, I knew how much happiness it would bring to the kids who received one. You inspired me to donate my coloring books.

 The tote bags and coloring books.

The tote bags and coloring books.

"I wanted to bring joy to someone's life like you did. I donated seventeen canvas totes containing colored pencils and a pencil sharpener/ crayons, and one of my fairies around the world coloring books. That day we packaged up the totes and took them to the Family Crisis Center.

"Designing the coloring book was fun, and a challenge. I worked on it for months, and my awesome mom helped with everything along the way. I made the coloring book when I was twelve, and I turned thirteen this May.

Lucy is inspiring to me. She is so creative, generous and talented. And she has a book on Amazon!

Thank you, Lucy!

 Lucy buying things for each kit.

Lucy buying things for each kit.

 The coloring kit

The coloring kit

 Lucy and ExtraSmall Phoebe

Lucy and ExtraSmall Phoebe