February 2016, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 32 pages, Hardback, Review copy
Summary from Quarto
In this new 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 first book follows Coco Chanel, from her early life in an orphanage – where she is a genius with needle and thread – to her time as a cabaret singer, hat maker and, eventually, international fashion designer. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Coco's life at the back.
I knew little about Amelia Erhart who is covered in the other book that I've read from this series, and even less about Coco. I knew she was a fashion designer, and had perfume since someone in my family wears it, but that was it. I had no idea that her real name is Gabrielle! She got the name Coco through singing as an adult -I'd love to know why they chose to call her that. Even though both as a child and an adult people disapproved of what she did, she carried on regardless and proved all the dissenters wrong.
Once again I love the style of illustration, how Coco always wears a stripey top both as an adult and a child. I love how key landmarks in France are used throughout the book, how there are extra facts and photos of Coco at the back which flesh out the brief details in the book, and provide suggestions for further reading. I hadn't realised she was born in the late 1800s, I assumed she was a 1900s girl. That makes me even more impressed for her achievements. Her determination is inspiring! This is a perfect introduction to Coco which I'm sure will spark off further research for readers as well as encouraging them to dream big too.
See other books in the series including Little People, Big Dreams: Amelia Earhart by Ma Isbael Sanchez Vegara and Mariadiamantes, translated by Raquel Plitt (Children's, Non-fiction, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)