Thursday 14 July 2022

Votes for Women: The Story of Nellie, Rose and Mary

Votes for Women: The Story of Nellie, Rose and Mary written and illustrated by Mark Wilson (Hachette Australia) HB RRP $26.99 ISBN 9780734420138

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

From award-winning author and illustrator Mark Wilson, here is a stirring story told in picture book style of the women who first won the right to vote in Australia, inspired by real people and historical events.

In 1890, Rose Birks and her stepdaughter, Nellie, two strong-willed and determined women, began writing letters and attending meetings to help improve the lives of women and children in their home city of Adelaide. They soon found themselves part of a movement that would change the lives of all Australian women. Through their friendship with the famous suffragist Mary Lee, they petitioned politicians and lawmakers – and in 1896 they became the first women in the country to vote in an election. Votes for Women! Tell t heir story.

Told in the third person voice of Nellie Birks, the story shows her relationship with her stepmother, and how she becomes aware of the issues that women faced. ‘She gladly went with Rose to meetings and helped compose letters to the newspapers about these issues.’

This is a visually captivating book with many illustrations coloured in pastels, some full-page and others in boxes with extracts from newspapers, petitions, and documents. Some of the illustrations – such as the opening fly pages – are sketched in dark and eye-catching sepia, such as pictures of women in factories working machines, and a woman addressing a crowd. Interior illustrations are in subdued colours. The artwork is realistic and worth pouring over as there are so many interesting details.

This is a fine book for showing young readers – from 9+ years – about an important part of their country’s history.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.