Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who Am I? Book for Women's History Month

Ideas for bookmaking projects come to me in all sorts of places. Last month I was at a talk by Tuskegee Airman James A. Sheppard at the Newburyport Public Library. He started by describing the history of African American aviation before World war II and showed a photo of the first licensed black aviator in the US—a woman named Bessie Coleman. I immediately knew she would be a perfect subject for March's bookmaking project in celebration of Women's History Month.

Here is a Who Am I? Book about her. This is a simplified version of the book I usually make with a grocery bag and a cereal box panel (directions here). For this one I used two sheets of used copy paper with writing on one side only.

You Will Need:

2 sheets used copy paper with writing on one side only
Piece of yarn about an arm's length long
Glue stick
Scrap paper
Hole punch

Make the Book:

Fold one of the pieces of paper in half the long way like a hot dog with the writing on the inside.

2. Open the paper, put glue on one half, close and smooth to help the glue adhere.

3. Repeat with the second piece of paper.

4. Place one folded piece so that it is tall in front of you. Place the second piece on top to form a large plus sign.

5. Take the bottom of the tall paper and fold it up over the sideways one.

6. Take the right side of the sideways paper and fold it over the bottom you just folded up.

7. Do the same with the left side and the top.

8. Take the two piece of paper apart.

9. Put glue on the center of the tall rectangle, place the sideways piece on top, and smooth to help the glue adhere.

10. Fold the book up.

11. Punch a hole in the center of the lower edge of the top flap.

12. Fold the piece of yarn in half.

13. Insert the loop end into the hole.

14. Open the loop, put the ends of the yarn through the loop, and pull.

15. Thread both ends of the yarn through a bead (I find it easiest to fold a small loop and twist it before threading) and tie a knot with the bead inside. Tie a second knot to make it secure.

16. To close the book, wrap the yarn around the book and tuck the bead under the yarn.


I was able to find a lot of information about Bessie Coleman both online and in books. She's a popular subject for children's books. I love the one I have—Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger, illustrated by Teresa Flavin—filled with both information and inspiration. Here's how the book closes:

Bessie Coleman was all of these.
Like her mother, Susan,
Bessie knew how to plant seeds.
Her work in schools and churches
was as important as her daring spins and loops in the sky.
Across the U.S.,
some of Bessie's young fans grew up to be pilots.
Many others would remember her courage,
her smile, and her words:
"You can do something, too.
Keep trying! Fly high!"

Here are some online resources: (photos)

Join in the celebration of Women's History Month and share a link, a book, or other information about a woman in history to be entered into the giveaway. There will be a random number drawing for each of two books:


The drawing will close on Friday March 23 at midnight.


Valerie said...

Susan, i am happy to share this wonderful book, The Night Sky, by Maria Sutton. She shares about her family and what they went through in WWII - no way i can tell it all in a comment. Many strong women - and men! - are told about within!

adele said...

Really interesting! Happy Spring :)

Linda Branch Dunn said...

Check out the story of the Radium Dial Workers. So near in history, and almost lost. This link includes images of the actual newspaper accounts as the trial finally unfolded.

I learned about them because my daughter participated in a production of "These Shining Lives," a one-act, this spring.

HawaiianLibrarian said...

I love the story about our beloved

Princess Pauahi

By Julie Stewart Williams
Illustrated by Robin Yoko Racoma
Kamehameha Publishing

Written to introduce very young children to Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter and last descendent of Kamehameha I. Her love for the Hawaiian people led her to leave her lands for the education of Hawaiian children, a legacy which is continued in today's Kamehameha Schools. The major events in her life are beautifully depicted in color throughout.

2005. 48 pp., 8 1/2in. x 9 1/2in. Acid-free text.
Hardcover ISBN 0-87336-092-3
Ages 5 and up"

holly said...

Thank you for inspiring me again, Susan! I'm looking forward to doing this with my classes.

Valerie said...

Another little known book that deserves to be better known is Maria Sutton's The Night Sky. Maria began life as a displaced person after WWII, moved with her family to the USA, and, as an adult, searched for her birth father. Her story is a great family story, and sheds light on little-known aspects of the war, as well as, inadvertently, immigration issues.

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