As a child, my reading was almost exclusively fiction. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to go looking for a non-fiction book to read for pleasure. It turns out my husband was the opposite, devouring factual books, and I’m quietly jealous about all the cool facts he’s retained. So I’m determined to make sure I expose my kiddos to all kinds of books. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised at all the wonderful non-fiction picture books I’ve found (and I’m sure there are loads more still to discover).
The Little People, Big Dreams series is squarely aimed at young children, introducing them to inspirational people when they too were children. In Agatha Christie, the reader is acquainted to little Agatha as she is being read a story by her mother – making her instantly relatable to today’s young readers. Bold pictures in black and white with spots of red, cover each double-page spread, showing Agatha as she grows and progresses through her life, inventing her famous characters, Hercules Poirot and Miss Marple, and becoming the best-selling novelist of all time.
After the story, there’s a double-page timeline featuring photos of Agatha as both a child and an adult, along with factual information about her life. I really rate additional information in non-fiction picture books – it adds to the book’s credibility and can give more explanation that what’s necessary in the story. I’m always disappointed when books don’t include them.
This book looks and feels like a keeper. It’s hardcover, with a cloth spine, bold colours and graphic endpapers featuring typewriter keys. And it’s about an inspirational woman!
Little People, Big Dreams Agatha Christie is written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Elisa Munso, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, February 2017, $19.99 (hbk) ISBN 9781408868409.