Two picture books speak about pioneering and extraordinary Portuguese

The life of some “extraordinary Portuguese women”, “most rebellious women who have made history”, such as Beatriz Ângelo, Amália Rodrigues and Branca Edmé Marques, is remembered in two illustrated books for the young, to be edited in the coming weeks.

One of the books is called ‘Portuguesas Extraordinárias’, with texts by Maria do Rosário Pedreira, illustrations by Elsa Martins and a stamp from Booksmile. In each double page, the authors briefly explain the life of the women portrayed, with biographical data, historical background and curiosities.

In the introduction, Maria do Rosário Pedreira makes a point of saying that she wrote this book for boys and girls – “what matters is that you like to read and learn things about your country” – and chose Portuguese women of various ages and “with lives and different occupations – queens, bakers, writers, actresses, politicians, aviators, sportsmen. ”

“Whether in the Monarchy or in the Republic, in the arts, in science, in war, in politics or in the simple everyday life at home, many Portuguese women braved themselves, stamped their feet, revolted and world much more balanced, although not yet perfect, “reads the front pages.

The book focuses on the life of pioneer women in their time, as the first chemistry professor and scientist, Branca Edmé Marques, the physician Beatriz Ângelo, who was the first woman to vote in Portugal, Bárbara Virgínia, the first woman to filming a fiction film, and Maria de Lourdes Sá Teixeira, aviator and the first woman to get a license to fly.

There are even names that may be more easily recognizable among children and young people, such as Brites de Almeida, known as Padeira de Aljubarrota, the writer Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and fadista Amália Rodrigues.


Writer, translator and editor, Maria do Rosário Pedreira has published her work in prose, poetry, chronicle and essay. In the area of ??children’s literature, she is the author, among others, of ‘The Island of Paradise’ and the series ‘The Club of the Keys’, co-written with Maria Teresa Maia González.

On the same theme, the book ‘Portuguesas com M Grande’ by Lúcia Vicente, illustrated by Cátia Vidinhas, will be published in October by the Ink Cloud.

Some of those “extraordinary Portuguese” are also portrayed in this book, such as fadista Amália Rodrigues, suffragette Beatriz Ângelo, heroine Brites de Almeida and painter Vieira da Silva.

In total, the book describes the lives of 42 “fighting, courageous, independent and free” women, “rebels who made history and changed the world in Portuguese,” as the editor said in a press release.

Among those portrayed are women like the painter Paula Rego, comedy actress Beatriz Costa, queen D. Maria II and the athlete Rosa Mota.

Lúcia Vicente is cofounder of the feminist collective Mujeres Unidas por el Igualdad (MUPI) and researcher on Women’s History.

In the film “Ink Cloud” by the Penguin Random House group, “Portuguesas com M Grande” joins a catalog that features two volumes of “Sleeping Stories for Rebel Girls” by Italian authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo and, with similar themes, but with foreign personalities such as Marie Curie and Frida Khalo.

This publisher is also preparing to publish the first two volumes, dedicated to Anne Frank and Amelia Earhart, written by Isabel Sanchez Vergara, from the new collection ‘Little girls, big dreams’, started internationally in 2015.

In Portugal, some biographical information books for children and young people have been published in recent years, giving special importance to women, such as the ‘Antiprincesas’ collection by Argentinean Nadia Fink and Pitu Saá (Ink from China), and the book’ The scientists ‘by Rachel Ignotofsky (Bertrand Editora).

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