Fantastically Great Women Artists and Their Stories

Fantastically Great Women Artists and Their Stories

By Author / Illustrator

Ms Kate Pankhurst


Biographies & Autobiographies

Age range(s)



Bloomsbury Publishing PLC




Paperback / softback




Over half of all the visual artists working today are women, but the paintings and sculptures shown in many galleries and museums tell a different story because they're usually the work of men.  In this book Kate Pankhurst, descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst, tells the fascinating stories of some of history's most talented female artists.  *Express your feelings and find your identity through art with Frida Kahlo* Run away to the circus and paint with Laura Knight* Help bring talented artists into the spotlight with Peggy Guggenheim* Challenge racism and segregation by creating powerful art with Faith Ringgold.

Including comic strips, family trees, maps and more, Fantastically Great Women Artists and Their Stories is a celebration of just some of the women whose creativity and dreams have made a mark on the world. A fantastic gift for girls and boys alike!  List of women featured: Amrita Sher-Gil, Elisabeth Le Brun, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Faith Ringgold, Frida Kahlo, Kathe Kollwitz, Dame Laura Knight and Peggy Guggenheim.



Fantastically Great Women Artists and their Stories is another solid addition to Kate Pankhurt's series of 'Fantastically Great Women' books; this one covers eight different women who have shaken the art world - from Frida Kahlo to Peggy Guggenheim.

This non-fiction book is packed full of information written in a child-friendly way. Pankhurst combines informal language with subject specific terminology to make the content accessible to young readers - there is a glossary full of terms in the book, too.

This is a non-traditional non-fiction book; each section reads almost like a story about the woman it's detailing. Pankhurt's cartoon-like illustrations add extra detail and interest - even including direct quotes or words where relevant.

As a woman, I enjoyed reading this book, learning facts as I went about some artists I was already familiar with and being introduced to others that I know of now! I like the scope of figures in the book; they cover different periods of history and had different experiences or roles within the art world. Some challenged portrayal of women, portrayal of feelings or even just culture at the time. The accounts are all set within historical context to help the reader further understand the impact of that particular woman.

It's a great book for young girls , full of role-models of women who were true to themselves and their talents, and is a must for every school library and for any child with a creative flair.

184 pages / Reviewed by Liz Backhouse, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Fantastically Great Woman Artists and Their Stories tells the incredible stories of talented, inspiring female artists from across the globe, including Frida Kahlo, Faith Ringgold and Laura Knight. Each woman has changed the world in her own unique way, and this is highlighted and celebrated throughout the pages.

The visuals are fun and engaging. My daughter really enjoyed the humour found within them. These creative illustrations are varied in style which gives the book a wonderfully vibrant feel as it is read. Comic strips, diary entries, maps and family trees are all included. With just the right amount of information, the text is accessible and my daughter (almost six) could follow with understanding as I read it to her.

Our favourite story was Emily Kame Kangwarreye: The Artist Who Never Stopped Dreaming. We were inspired by the strength she showed when Westerners took over her native Aboriginal homeland, and found it fascinating that she was able to protect and promote her culture through art, using the natural materials her land provided. Along side this memorable story, there is a step-by-step guide which explains the resources and techniques to create your own pieces of art in Batik style. This is now on our list of things to try out!

Fantastically Great Woman Artists and Their Stories is a joyful, charming book that would be perfect in both the home and the primary classroom, sure to inspire anyone who picks it up.

184 pages / Reviewed by Jemma Jeffrey, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


Fantastically Great Women Artists and their Stories is another brilliant book from Kate Pankhurst. I am big fan of these books and have ALL the previous Fantastically Great Women books in my collection. This version, however, is slightly different. It has been written and published as more of a fiction-style book. Each new chapter is a different female artist, telling their story of their life and what they have contributed as an artist. It then ends with a different fact page for each artist, some are diaries, and others are newspaper entries.

What I love about these books is the illustrations and the captions, quotes or labels given to each image. They are humorous and don't feel like a non-fiction 'fact book'; they bring the story alive and make children want to read more. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as an adult, as I too have learnt some new artists (ones that I have never heard of!) and some interesting things about those I did.

The stories told don't hold back and make you think and feel. The way certain words are put into bold add to this and really help children understand these true stories, especially with the added glossary at the back of the book.

I have used Kate Pankhurst’s books in the classroom time and again and this one will definitely be joining the collection with the others.

184 pages / Reviewed by Lauren Maidman, teacher 

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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