The thing I love about recent picture book biographies is that so many of them tell the stories of people whose impact has been lost or forgotten somehow. Or their impact has certainly not been written in a way that is accessible to children. These two are new picture book biographies that will give readers info as well as maybe spark some new interest connected with the difference each person made in the world.
When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill is the story of DJ Kool Herc and how he became a DJ. The story begins with his childhood and how his love of music impacted all that he did. DJ Kool Herc was responsible for extending breaks so listeners had more time to dance (break-dancers). His DJ-ing was quite the party and made people everywhere happy. The author's note and timeline in the back add more interesting info to the story and the author's journey toward writing this story.
Flying Solo: How Ruth Elder Soared into America's Heart by Julie Cummins is one of those books. This is the story of Ruth Elder, a woman who was determined to become the "female Lindbergh" and to fly across the Atlantic. She spent much of her life showing that women could be pilots and we learn about things like the 1929 all women's cross-country air race in which Ruth participated. I love these stories that show determined people showing what is possible and changing perceptions throughout history.