A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice. Jasmine A. Stirling. Illustrated by Vesper Stamper. 2021. [March] 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Jane loved stories--long ones, short ones, worn and new.
Premise/plot: A Most Clever Girl is a picture book biography of Jane Austen. The narrative has a specific focus: how did Jane Austen find her voice? or to word it a different way, how did Austen find her own unique narrative style? The book focuses on her love of READING and WRITING and sharing stories with family and friends. Along the way, readers learn a bit more about Austen's family and the times in which she grew up.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. Probably my favorite thing about this picture book is that it includes Austen quotes throughout the narrative. The words that appears in italics are from Austen herself. (Adults can find the sources for these quotes in the back matter.) I also appreciated how this picture book provides context for reading and appreciating Austen's novels.
Is it really written for children? Or is it written for adults? I think that's a fair enough question. I do think there are plenty of adults who love, love, love Jane Austen who have daughters (and sons), granddaughters (and grandsons), nieces (and nephews). I could see this appealing to Austen fans regardless if they have children in their lives.
I am not someone who thinks that picture books are ONLY for children. I'm not. I think readers of all ages can read and enjoy picture books. I think you never outgrow a good story.
Have you read this one? What did you think about it?
© 2021 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews