8 Beautifully Illustrated Books about Wonder Women from History // Reading List


8 Beautifully Illustrated Books about Wonder Women from History // Reading List

My niece's has just celebrated her 11th birthday. Almost every thing I've bought her since the day she was born has been one of three things: art materials, something related to Studio Ghibli, or books.

When it comes to novels, I've focused on buying her ones with strong lead female characters; the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. And I've been including a few non-fiction books about feminism and forgotten female figures in history along the way. While searching for something new to add to her growing library, I discovered so many wonderful looking illustrated books that I thought I should share them here.

These eight illustrated non-fiction books tell the tales of extraordinary women who have often been written out of history, from feminists and scientists to adventurers, artists and athletes. With beautiful artwork and writing from women creatives, these books are the perfect additions to any feminist bibliophile's book shelf.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

1. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

by Pénélope Bagieu

With her one-of-a-kind wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world-famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee & Petra Eriksson

2. Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World

by Mackenzi Lee & Petra Eriksson

Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world. With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers.


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo

3. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women

by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. This book inspires girls with the stories of great women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. There is now a second book in the series.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

4. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

by Rachel Ignotofsky

A charmingly illustrated and educational book, Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. I love that not only has Ignotofsky written a book devoted to women scientists, but also this companion all about woman sporting heroes.


Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl

5. Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History

by Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl

A bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world. Writer Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl tell fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits.

Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels by Linda Skeers & Livi Gosling

6. Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels

by Linda Skeers & Livi Gosling

Women have been doing amazing, daring, and dangerous things for years, but they’re rarely mentioned in our history books as adventurers, daredevils, or rebels. This new compilation of brief biographies features women throughout history who have risked their lives for adventure—many of whom you may not know, but all of whom you’ll WANT to know. This is the perfect read for anyone who wants to know what it means to explore, discover, play, climb, and fight like a girl!


Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen

7. Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World

by Ann Shen

The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, scientists, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change.

Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs & Sophia Foster-Dimino

8. Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History

by Sam Maggs & Sophia Foster-Dimino

Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors.

I also love the look of Magg's other books, Girl Squads: 20 Female Friendships That Changed History and The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks.

Do you have any of these wonderful books? Are there any illustrated books about feminism or forgotten women from history that you've read that you would recommend?


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Karen Murray of A Rose Cast

Hello, I'm Karen

I'm an illustrator & designer from the UK, producing my own products as well as custom illustration for clients, both big and small.

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