You know about the New Deal. But do you know the people behind it? Do you know the woman who was usually not only the only women in the photo, but the only woman in the room, the only one seeing the injustices on a human level, seeing what must be done to fix it? She took her privilege and tried to help. And Kathleen Krull shows that in The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America.
Who was Perkins? She was a woman of privilege who questioned things. She not only questioned, but she went out and did things to try and change the injustices she felt where there. And eventually, she had the ear of the most important man in the country at the time, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She would be the first woman in several historical ways, such as not only was she was the first women as a Secretary of Labor but the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. History unfolds with Krull’s text and Alexandra Bye’s illustrations.
The art is bold, without overpowering. The illustrations can be busy. There is much in the way of details, but they are not necessarily there to fill up space. They are there to set the tone of the book. They might be a bit more “modern and clean” than what would have happened historically, but this introduction to a little know person of history is presented in a way to make it relatable to the reader. We can be thankful that Perkins’ grandmother gave her that piece of advice: When somebody opens a door to you, go forward. Book is aimed at an older reader/listener.