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I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote (Melanie Kroupa Books) Hardcover – August 11, 2005

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I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote (Melanie Kroupa Books) + Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: Melanie Kroupa Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (August 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374335273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374335274
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2-4–Statues of Esther Morris are found in front of the Wyoming State Capitol and in the United States Capitol, yet she is not as well known as Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. White tells the story of the woman's achievements in helping to gain the vote for women in Wyoming and as the first female judge and the first woman in the United States to hold political office. However, even the author admits that only the barest facts are known about her subject's early life, her millinery business, and her two marriages. As a result, readers are given an appealing, inspiring story, but is it historical fiction or nonfiction? White is successful in depicting a strong, dynamic woman. Whether brewing tea or learning to sew, from an early age Esther adamantly states, I could do that!–the mantra of her life. From New York to Illinois to the Wyoming Territory, Morris takes care of herself and her family while championing the abolitionist and suffragist causes. Carpenter's bright, lively chalk illustrations contribute to the cheerful, fast-paced tone of the story. Her work complements the understated text with humor-filled illustrations. To discuss voting and elections with young children, this title would work well with Emily Arnold McCully's The Ballot Box Battle (Knopf), or Elinor Batezat Sisulu's more modern The Day Gogo Went to Vote (Little, Brown, both 1996), set in South Africa.–Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 2-4. Hatmaker, wife, mother, pioneer, and activist, Morris was instrumental in getting the vote for women in Wyoming, the first state to pass such a law. After a local judge resigned in outrage, Morris added insult to injury by taking his job--thereby becoming the first woman in the U.S. to hold public office. Inspired by the facts of Morris' life and punctuated throughout with the woman's read-aloud-friendly affirmations of "I can do that!" this may appeal to young readers more than Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge's fact-filled but workmanlike When Esther Morris Headed West (2001). White's carefully shaped text is amplified by Carpenter's folksy oils, which combine prim, period details and witty exaggerations in the spirit of her illustrations for the tall tale Loud Emily (1999). Children drawn by jacket art showing Esther as a little girl may be surprised that the story mostly features a grown woman, but they'll be quickly won over by a character so determined that, once an idea occurred to her, "it was more likely that things were about to change than that things would stay the same." An author's note and suggestions for further research conclude a well-crafted story that secures Morris a deserved place in the sorority of redoubtable picture-book heroines. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HenderHouse on February 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This terrific picture book biography introduces readers to Esther Morris, the driving force behind suffrage in Wyoming and the first woman to ever hold elected office. From her earliest days, Esther was daring and smart; her constant refrain when confronted with anything new lead to the title, "I could do that!" We share Esther's sorrow when her mother dies when Esther is only 11 and follow Esther through her life as a wife, mother, and pioneer. Esther's 6-foot stature garnered attention and her intelligence proved her worth. By 1869, Wyoming women had the vote in their territory; the book reminds us, that despite Esther's achievements, she never voted for president. The illustrations are a particularly strong point of this title. The two-page spread depicting Esther's family in mourning has a wonderful shape and color. All is black, white and gray except for the purple settee and Esther's orange-red hair. Esther is part of the family, but apart as well, standing off to one side; she is also the only person in the picture taking action (serving tea) to others who are sipping and/or sniffling. A wonderful read-aloud for grades 2-4.
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By Lynn on March 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Used for introduction of biographies and discussion of impact one person can have and the belief--I can do that! Whatever it is.
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Format: Hardcover
This delightful picture book tells the story of a pioneer for women's rights, Esther Morris, whose story was completely new to me. We first meet Esther as a determined six-year old, who meets each new challenge by piping up with the refrain, "I could do that," whether it's making tea, sewing, taking care of her younger brothers and sisters when her mother dies, or opening her own hat shop at a time when it was unusual for young women to own their own business.

When her first husband dies, she can't claim his land in Illinois because women weren't allowed to inherit from their husband. She later remarries and moves to the Wyoming Territory, where women were scarce, outnumbered six to one by men! She opens another hat shop, but also helps deliver babies, nurse the sick, and do whatever else needed doing on the frontier. When the territory holds its first elections, she gets a commitment from the male candidates to introduce a bill giving women the vote in Wyoming, and didn't let them forget their promise. In 1869, Wyoming women indeed got the right to vote, before any other state or territory in the country. When the county's judge resigns in protest, Esther takes over his job as justice of the piece, the first woman in the country to hold public office. White's version of Esther's extraordinary story ends triumphantly with Esther casting her first vote in an election. Like the Smith sisters whom I wrote about yesterday, Esther did not live long enough to be able to vote in a presidential election.

Esther's story is greatly enhanced by the wit and humor of the brightly colored folksy illustrations by Nancy Carpenter, who has illustrated numerous historical titles.
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