Book Review: Fantastically Great Women Who Made History by Kate Pankhurst

What a beautiful book – a fantastically illustrated and informative book detailing interesting information and many key historical women over the years.

The illustrations in this book are fabulous, bringing warmth, humour and detail to every page. The book is organised into double-paged spreads for each of the 13 women featured. There are names that are familiar to me such Boudicca and Pocahontas, but many others, I am embarrassed to say, that I hadn’t heard of. I think the author, Kate Pankhurst, did really well to select women from a good variety of different cultures and time periods, and they go down in history for many different reasons.

I can honestly say that I learnt something new about every one of these 13 inspirational ladies. I enjoyed reading the book from cover to cover, but I also look forward to dipping back into the book to remind myself of the achievements of particular characters when needed. I understand that Kate Pankhurst has written a companion book called “Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World”, which I also look forward to reading.

This book could be used in school in so many ways: the illustrations are so inviting it is a must for all school libraries and classrooms (lower KS2 in particular). As the book is about women, I do think the book would appeal to girls more than boys, but I think the pictures and short sections of text have universal appeal.

There could be some great assemblies using the information from this book, and it could be used for topic work and PSHE. I will lend my copy to individual girls who have low aspirations, as it fits so well with our Growth Mindset approach, as it is so inspirational.


Fantastically Great Women Who Made History by Kate Pankhurst was published 8th February 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing

Shenaz Bagshaw is a Reading Specialist Teacher at St James CE Primary School in Northampton