Okay, I have to say it: Isabella Bird flipped off Victorian society and still was presented to the Queen herself.
Away with Words: The Daring Story of Isabella Bird is a lovely story about an adventurous woman, Isabella Bird, who challenged not only herself, but societies views on what a woman can and cannot do. And she mostly did it all wearing the “proper attire” of a skirt. She was a proper lady, until she was wearing bloomers, or hanging off a cliff with a notorious outlaw. Not marrying until her 50s, Bird flipped the world off and wrote bestsellers in the processes.
Lori Mortensen included an afterwards summing some of the adventures of Bird (mentioning her marriage here). There are references as well if you want to learn more about Bird. And Kristy Caldwell adds to the goodness of things by doing fun, nicely detailed images. Nothing is too crowded, but the pages can be busy with goodies and colors.
This is a fun book. Even if things might be a bit on the tall-tale side (I had hints of some Mark Twain-like imagery of being maybe a bit less than a hundred percent true) but regardless, it is a picture book that shows girls can do what they want to. The text is aimed at slightly older readers, but younger ones can read the illustrations. The artwork is descriptive without overtaking the words and the reverse is true as well. Overall, it is a book that gives a little adventure without overwhelming the reader.