Indelible Ann: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards

by Meghan P Browne (Author) Carlynn Whitt (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A folksy, larger-than-life picture book biography about Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas who has inspired countless women in politics today.

Dorothy Ann Willis hailed from a small Texas town, but early on she found her voice and the guts to use it.

During her childhood in San Diego and her high school years back in Texas (when she dropped the Dorothy), Ann discovered a spark and passion for civic duty. It led her all the way to Washington, DC, where she, along with other girls from around the country, learned about the business of politics. Fast forward to Ann taking on the political boys' club: she became county commissioner, then state treasurer, and finally governor of Texas.

In this stunning picture book biography, full of vim, vigor, and folksy charm, two Texan creators take us through the life of the legendary big mouth, big hair governor of Texas, a woman who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and in turn became an inspiration to Hillary Clinton and countless others.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
An undeniably indelible woman inspiring readers to reach their own heights.

Publishers Weekly

Utilizing the refrain "just wait, you'll see," this detailed picture book biography by a Texan team centers the life of Ann Richards (1933-2006), the 45th governor of Texas. Debut picture book author Browne maintains interest with approachable prose and vivid figurative language as she follows Richards from her birth "outside a lonely Texas prairie town" to her persistence in balancing politics with parenthood: "She listened to the people: a colorful patchwork of Texans sewn tightly together by their desire for change." Realistic ink and gouache illustrations by Whitt employ a softly retro palette, portraying Ann on nearly every page amid a cast of variously inclusive figures. An inspiring, feminist-leaning look at a trailblazing woman in politics. Back matter includes more about Richards. Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6—This biography of Ann Richards uses the tone and structure of a tall-tale to pack a lifetime of the legendary Texas activist and politician's accomplishments and exploits into a picture book length text. Whitt's beautifully rendered drawings convey an energy and sense of motion that echoes Richards's dynamic, no-nonsense personality. Browne's narrative, while struggling to balance the complexity of language needed to convey the ups and downs of a historic political life, does tend to gloss over specific dates and details. Also, as somewhat expected in the telling of a folk heroine's daring deeds, there's quite a bit of hyperbolic praise and very little discussion of the low points or missteps of this larger-than-life lady. An afterword offers a more traditional brief biography and an explication of Richards's impact as a woman of amazing achievements who did a great deal of good for a great many people over the course of her extraordinary life and inspired others to do the same. VERDICT This exciting, sunny biography is as real and rollicking as the late governor herself, and is highly recommended for elementary and junior high nonfiction collections.—Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Blinn Junior Coll., Brenham, TX

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

An undeniably indelible woman inspiring readers to reach their own heights. —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This exciting, sunny biography is as real and rollicking as the late governor herself, and is highly ­recommended for elementary and junior high nonfiction ­collections." —School Library Journal

Meghan P Browne
Meghan P. Browne is working toward her MFA at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is also the author of Indelible Anne: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards. Meghan lives on and runs a farm in South Austin, Texas, called the Honey Browne Farm. Visit her on Twitter at @meghanpbrowne.

Brooke Smart is an illustrator who loves telling stories from her head, or stories from other people's heads, or stories from history. She earned a BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University and lives in Sandy, Utah with her family.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2021

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!