Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed Historyby Sue Stauffacher
When Tillie Anderson came to America, all she had was a needle. So she got herself a job in a tailor shop and waited for a dream to find her. One day, a man sped by on a bicycle. She was told "bicycles aren't for ladies," but from then on, Tillie dreamed of riding—not graceful figure eights, but speedy, scorching, racy riding! And she knew that couldn't be done in a fancy lady's dress. . . . With arduous training and her (shocking!) new clothes, Tillie became the women's bicycle-riding champion of the world.
Sue Stauffacher's lively text and Sarah McMenemy's charming illustrations capture the energy of America's bicycle craze and tell the story of one woman who wouldn't let society's expectations stop her from achieving her dream.
Modern bike-riding kids do not realize that for women at the turn of the 20th century bicycles equaled freedom.For Tillie Anderson, it was the ticket out of her job in a tailor shop and into the world of racing and fame. In Tillie's day, women cycled in long dresses, gracefully navigating figure eights or circles around a ladylike maypole, never being seen with "bicycle face." With her trusty needle and thread, Tillie sewed a close-fitting, scandalous suit for riding, allowing her to enter real bike races.Loose, dainty watercolors employ an old-timey palette and give this historic tale the right touch of humor. Tillie is always surrounded by white, making her easy to find in the race scenes. Each spread is full of movement, with circles and ovals playing their proper role in this tale of athleticism, women's rights and freedom. The endpapers extend the story—the opening shows women's fashions and the closing recounts the highlights of Tillie's life in racing. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
Meet the Author
SUE STAUFFACHER'S books for young readers include Harry Sue, Donutheart, and Donuthead, as well as her new Animal Rescue Team series. Sue's picture book Nothing but Trouble won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children's Literature. She is a frequent visitor to schools as a speaker and literacy consultant, drawing on two decades of experience as a journalist, educator, and program administrator. To learn more about her, please visit SueStauffacher.com.
SARAH MCMENEMY is the illustrator of The First Rule of Little Brothers by Jill Davis, Everybody Bonjours! by Leslie Kimmelman, and The Busiest Street in Town by Mara Rockliff, all published by Knopf. She is also the author and illustrator of Waggle and Jack's New Boat. Sarah lives with her family in London, England. Visit her online at SarahMcMenemy.com.
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