She is the Queen. The matriarch.
She leads her daughters and their daughters.
Inspiring text and striking illustrations follow the empowering journey of an elephant matriarch as she leads her family through the wilds of Africa. With facts about African elephants on every spread and a message that will encourage young girls to be the trailblazers of their generation, She Leads offers an incredible story and an unforgettable tribute to the strength of a true leader.
Open your eyes, princess. One day you will lead.
June Smalls has been making up stories since she only had pets and stuffed animals to share them with. With her first poem published in first grade, June got the writing bug and never quit. June is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a lover of literature. She resides in Northern Virginia with her hubby, The Kid, and an ever-growing assortment of animals. When not writing, June is researching, visiting zoos or aquariums, reading, or trying to convince her hubby they have room for just one more pet.
Yumi Shimokawara was born in Tokyo. She took an illustration correspondence course with Kodansha Famous Schools in 2001 and later learned wildlife drawing at a KFS school. In 2013, she won the school’s 7th KFS Picture Book Grand Prix. She made her debut into writing and illustrating with Hoshi o sagashi ni (Star Hunting). She has since published Potsu potsu potsu daijobu? (Plip-plop Plip-plop, Are You All Right?) and Osuwari dozo (Have a Seat). She loves animals and currently lives with a white java sparrow in Chiba, Japan.
She Leads has such an empowering message for young girls. How did you weave this into your story?
My goal was just to show the elephant matriarch. Their strength, hard work, leadership, and intelligence is what shows girls what they can be. I was so focused on the facts, it wasn’t until someone else pointed it out that I realized that message was woven into the fabric of the story.
What surprising thing did you learn while creating this book?
Elephants, and the family units they travel in, are highly intelligent, rely heavily on communication (in ways we still don’t fully understand), and teach their offspring what they need to know, rather than the young relying solely on instincts for survival.
For my daughters, and her daughters, their daughters and their daughters . . .