Determination is the Common Bond

For a number of years now, Quarto Publishing has produced an amazing series called Little People Big Dreams. I actually wrote about them back in 2018. I am fortunate enough to now be auto-approved to review all books by Quarto on NetGalley and am excited by the new titles coming out in the next few months. While I did obtain free review copies, all opinions are my own.

Some of the books are regular 32 page books and some are 24 page board books. Obviously they get a bit more info into the larger books, but they all paint the picture of how these now famous people struggled, used a strong sense of determination, and made their dreams come true. They all had to work hard, as no one else was going to do the work for them. All of the books feature a more detailed biography and time line in the back of the book as well as other reading sources for young audiences.


Greta Thunberg (May 26, 2020) – Kids need to learn as early as possible that if they decide to stand up for something, they CAN make a difference, no matter their age. I especially love how they said that her selective mutism and Asperger’s worked as her “super power.”

© Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Image © Anke Weckmann

Ghandi (May 26, 2020) – I really enjoyed this book as I had recently read a biography on Ghandi in We Are Power. I find his life fascinating and the basic imagery that is used in these books works well to tell his story. This is a great introduction to Ghandi’s bravery, kindness, and selfless-ness.

text © Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Image © Albert Arrayas

Jesse Owens (June 2, 2020) – This book was one of the times where I really wished that the Little People books started with a date. Owens accomplished so many firsts, some for his skill and some simply because he was black in a segregated time. The locker room and post-Olympic reception spreads were especially powerful.

text © Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Image ©Anna Katherina Jansen

Wilma Rudolph (June 16, 2020) – Holy determination, Batman! I honestly didn’t know much about Wilma Rudolph other than that she was an athlete. This little book showed me how she struggled with illness, faced segregation, played basketball, and made records in the Olympics. She was proof at the time that girls could do anything and that it was important to stand up for things that you believe in.

text © Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Image ©Amelia Flower

Dolly Parton (June 16, 2020) – This is a simple version of her amazing life and is the shorter board book style. I loved watching her in movies when I was younger so I was sad that they left that out, but she is known more for her music. Even as a superstar now, she came from humble beginnings and worked endlessly to get where she is. She believed in herself and stood up for women’s rights everywhere. As a book lover, I am also always impressed with the fact that she started the Imagination Library to make sure that kids had books of their own.

text © Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Image ©Daria Solak

Jean-Michel Basquait (June 16, 2020) – I admit that this was probably my least favorite of the bunch as I didn’t feel that it gave the reader any sense of what Basquait’s art was really like. He was such a huge persona in the 1980s art scene and all we really got was that he used spray paint and did graffiti. I wish there had been samples of his work.

text © Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Image ©Luciano Lozano
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