Her Name Was Mary Katharine Goddard and she signed the Declaration of Independence.
No really! Like the young woman who struck out Babe Ruth, Jackie Mitchell, she was a woman of the Revolution War (and before) who did grand things and you probably do not know she even existed. In the picture book Her Name Was Mary Katharine: The Only Woman Whose Name Is on the Declaration of Independence we get a peek in to the life of a young girl and how she made freedom happen by printing a piece of treason.
The story by Ella Schwartz highlights the times where Mary Katharine was different. Getting an education when women did not do that, running her brothers’ various newspapers/printing establishments, running the Baltimore postal system, and she would make waves in ways few dared. The afterwards mentions that little is actually known about Goddard, other than what is mentioned on the pages of this book. There are no known portraits (I chose one image here to show the extent of history hasn’t played) or few to no documents by her left. There are newspapers where you can see what she printed/wrote, but even then, it is not known if those are her own words, or words she took as her own as she gave her name to them. There are even questions about the spelling of her name. Mary Katharine is used by the author as it is seen on the famous document at the focus of the story.
What is known, of course, is that when the Founding Fathers wanted the official documentation of their declaration to be printed, Goddard did not put her initials as she had so many times before, but her full name. A little girl of the colonies had become a full-fledged patriot, willing to die for her, considered at the time, treasonous act.
Dow Phumiruk has busy, well colored images as the artwork. They are expressive of the time. but have that modern polish to them. They accompany the text, by having it overlap the images. Complimentary, educational, and fun, they bring to life the story as well as the words.