Monday, June 27, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Summer is the perfect time for a biography of Annette Kellerman. Corey's picture book focuses on the highlights of Kellerman's life. Having taken up swimming as therapy, Kellerman developed a passion for the sport and was well-known for her athletic accomplishments which included the creation of water ballet. She encouraged women to live healthy lives by participating in vigorous sports, a notion that was new in the early 1900s. Kellerman went on to revolutionize women's swimwear by discarding the heavy swimming costumes of the era in favor of more practical attire. Her campaign got her arrested, but she won her case and changed the face of women's athletics forever.

Corey combines powerful narration with quotations to give readers a clear understanding of how this early feminist faced her challenges in a time when women were more often criticized than complimented for being innovative, determined, and self-confident. Fotheringham's illustrations, a colorful mix of swirling color and spirited images, convey a clear sense of Kellerman's passion. The book concludes with author's notes and photographs about this extraordinary woman.

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