"Stirring encouragement for all 'little people' with 'big dreams.'"

2017 Amelia Bloomer List

2018 Amelia Bloomer List


ABOUT Maya Angelou

In the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. The book follows Maya Angelou, from her early traumatic childhood to her time as a singer, actress, civil rights campaigner and, eventually, one of America's most beloved writers. Selected to be honored on the 2017 Amelia Bloomer List, this inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Maya's life at the back.


“There’s nothing I can’t be,” young Maya thinks, and then shows, in this profile for newly independent readers, imported from Spain.

The inspirational message is conveyed through a fine skein of biographical details. It begins with her birth in St. Louis and the prejudice she experienced growing up in a small Arkansas town and closes with her reading of a poem “about her favorite thing: hope” at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration. In between, it mentions the (unspecified) “attack” by her mother’s boyfriend and subsequent elective muteness she experienced as a child, as well as some of the varied pursuits that preceded her eventual decision to become a writer. Kaiser goes on in a closing spread to recap Angelou’s life and career, with dates, beneath a quartet of portrait photos. Salaberria’s simple illustrations, filled with brown-skinned figures, are more idealized than photorealistic, but, though only in the cover image do they make direct contact with readers’, Angelou’s huge eyes are an effective focal point in each scene. [...]

Stirring encouragement for all “little people” with “big dreams.” (Picture book/biography. 5-7)

See the full review on Kirkus

more about Maya...

Read more about Maya Angelou's extraordinary life and how Lisbeth approached writing about her for very young children. In her post on the Quarto Kids blog, Lisbeth discusses her process, challenges and goals in introducing an incredible role model to this age group.  

Read the blog post on Quarto Kids.


Lisbeth Kaiser is a writer and editor whose work has appeared on websites, commercials, billboards and even toothbrushes. Her first children's book, Maya Angelou (Little People, Big Dreams), was selected for the 2017 Amelia Bloomer List. She has written two more books in the "Little People, Big Dreams" series, Rosa Parks and Emmeline Pankhurst (2018 Amelia Bloomer List). Lisbeth lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.