I Could Do That!: Ester Morris Gets Women the Vote

Overview

Full of humor and spunk – just like Esther!

“I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that.

With lively text and humorous illustrations as full of spirit as Esther herself, this striking picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her ...

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Overview

Full of humor and spunk – just like Esther!

“I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that.

With lively text and humorous illustrations as full of spirit as Esther herself, this striking picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory – the first time ever in the United States!

I Could Do That! is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

In 1869, a woman whose "can-do" attitude had shaped her life was instrumental in making Wyoming the first state to allow women to vote, then became the first woman to hold public office in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"White's carefully shaped text is amplified by Carpenter's folksy oils, which combine prim, period details and witty exaggerations. A well-crafted story that secures Morris a deserved place in the sorority of redoubtable picture-book heroines." Starred, Booklist

"Lively." —The New York Times Book Review

"White's text vividly builds a larger-than-life character. Carpenter's sunny illustrations make the most of Esther's actual size (six feet) and inner strength. A rollicking good story." — Kirkus Reviews

"Carpenter's paintings, which combine Giselle Potter's grace with a slightly rough-hewn Western edge, are especially entertaining and effective at depicting Morris as a pillar of steadiness and calm." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature
It is hard to believe that before 1920, women were not allowed to vote in many states. Many famous suffragists fought hard for that right. This new book is about a lesser-known suffragist named Esther Morris and how her tea changed a state. When young Esther was told she was too young to make tea, she said, "I could do that." As an adult she was told women did not own their own businesses, she said, "I could do that," and she opened her own hat shop. Of course, when she moved out west and was told women did not vote, her response was, "I could do that." So she threw a tea party and invited the two men who were running for the territory legislature. At the end of the party, both candidates agreed to sponsor a bill supporting a woman's right to vote. This picture book works on many levels. For young children, it is a visually interesting read-aloud. Little kids will relate to being told they cannot do things. For older children, it is a great link between literature and history. All ages will like Esther. 2005, Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 5 to 7.
—Heather Robertson
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Statues of Esther Morris are found in front of the Wyoming State Capitol and in the United States Capitol, yet she is not as well known as Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. White tells the story of the woman's achievements in helping to gain the vote for women in Wyoming and as "the first female judge and the first woman in the United States to hold political office." However, even the author admits that "only the barest facts" are known about her subject's early life, her millinery business, and her two marriages. As a result, readers are given an appealing, inspiring story, but is it historical fiction or nonfiction? White is successful in depicting a strong, dynamic woman. Whether brewing tea or learning to sew, from an early age Esther adamantly states, "I could do that!"-the mantra of her life. From New York to Illinois to the Wyoming Territory, Morris takes care of herself and her family while championing the abolitionist and suffragist causes. Carpenter's bright, lively chalk illustrations contribute to the cheerful, fast-paced tone of the story. Her work complements the understated text with humor-filled illustrations. To discuss voting and elections with young children, this title would work well with Emily Arnold McCully's The Ballot Box Battle (Knopf), or Elinor Batezat Sisulu's more modern The Day Gogo Went to Vote (Little, Brown, both 1996), set in South Africa.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374335274
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/6/2005
  • Series: Melanie Kroupa Bks.
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 234,763
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: AD780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.77 (w) x 11.19 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Arms White's humorous books include Comes a Wind, an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. She lives outside Allenspark, Colorado.

Nancy Carpenter has written and illustrated many books for children, including Fannie in the Kitchen by Deborah Hopkinson, a Publishers Weekly Best Book, and Twister by Darleen Bailey Beard. She lives in Brooklyn,

New York.

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