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That's What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women

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An artist and activist committed to the empowerment of women and girls has created a gorgeous illustrated volume, blending watercolor and short biography to showcase the contributions of more than fifty influential female leaders whose words and actions are a passionate call to arms. Distraught by the results of the 2016 election and the realization that the nation was not An artist and activist committed to the empowerment of women and girls has created a gorgeous illustrated volume, blending watercolor and short biography to showcase the contributions of more than fifty influential female leaders whose words and actions are a passionate call to arms. Distraught by the results of the 2016 election and the realization that the nation was not ready for its first female president, Kimothy Joy found herself poring over the biographies of brave women throughout history—those who persisted in the face of daunting circumstances—to learn from their experiences. Turning to art, Joy channeled her feelings to the canvas, bringing these strong women to life in bold watercolor portraits surrounded by inspirational hand-lettered quotes. With each creation, Joy found catharsis and hope. She shared her watercolors with her online community and encouraged everyone to raise their own voices and recharge for the battles ahead. Now, in this beautiful gift book, Joy has gathered her stunning illustrations and quotes and paired them with surprising, illuminating biographies of her subjects to inspire women of all ages, races, and backgrounds. That’s What She Said honors a powerful and diverse group of over fifty women—from Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Virginia Woolf to Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—role models whose words and insights remind us that we must never give up the fight for a more just and equitable society. Reclaiming the derogatory cultural barb "that’s what she said," this stunning book celebrates strong female leadership throughout history and empowers current and future generations to find their voices and inspire change in their communities.


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An artist and activist committed to the empowerment of women and girls has created a gorgeous illustrated volume, blending watercolor and short biography to showcase the contributions of more than fifty influential female leaders whose words and actions are a passionate call to arms. Distraught by the results of the 2016 election and the realization that the nation was not An artist and activist committed to the empowerment of women and girls has created a gorgeous illustrated volume, blending watercolor and short biography to showcase the contributions of more than fifty influential female leaders whose words and actions are a passionate call to arms. Distraught by the results of the 2016 election and the realization that the nation was not ready for its first female president, Kimothy Joy found herself poring over the biographies of brave women throughout history—those who persisted in the face of daunting circumstances—to learn from their experiences. Turning to art, Joy channeled her feelings to the canvas, bringing these strong women to life in bold watercolor portraits surrounded by inspirational hand-lettered quotes. With each creation, Joy found catharsis and hope. She shared her watercolors with her online community and encouraged everyone to raise their own voices and recharge for the battles ahead. Now, in this beautiful gift book, Joy has gathered her stunning illustrations and quotes and paired them with surprising, illuminating biographies of her subjects to inspire women of all ages, races, and backgrounds. That’s What She Said honors a powerful and diverse group of over fifty women—from Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Virginia Woolf to Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—role models whose words and insights remind us that we must never give up the fight for a more just and equitable society. Reclaiming the derogatory cultural barb "that’s what she said," this stunning book celebrates strong female leadership throughout history and empowers current and future generations to find their voices and inspire change in their communities.

30 review for That's What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City

    “That's What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women” by Kimothy Joy is a gorgeous collection of watercolor portraits, quotes, and biographies celebrating diverse group of 50 influential women from Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Virginia Woolf, Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that’ll sure to inspire women of all ages & backgrounds! I’ve been really loving picture books, I bought few over the holiday; so many amazing illustrated books out there! And, it’s a nice brea “That's What She Said: Wise Words from Influential Women” by Kimothy Joy is a gorgeous collection of watercolor portraits, quotes, and biographies celebrating diverse group of 50 influential women from Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Virginia Woolf, Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that’ll sure to inspire women of all ages & backgrounds! I’ve been really loving picture books, I bought few over the holiday; so many amazing illustrated books out there! And, it’s a nice break between heavy reads and great way to access & support their work. One thing I’d love the author to have included in the book was how she chose these women, like her thought process behind her research. She didn’t include any commentary of her own, which would’ve been helpful & interesting to read about. Also, it’s easy to overlook this book just by its cover, which is underwhelming compared to its content. I think I’m going to have to cut our few pages of my favorite illustrations, they’re just so stunning. Highly recommend it! Do you have a favorite picture book you read recently? 🤓✌️📖 . . synopsis: In the wake of the 2016 election, artist and activist Kimothy Joy found herself poring over the biographies of brave women throughout history. Day after day she researched women who persisted in the face of daunting circumstances, gaining wisdom and perspective from their experiences. Channeling her feelings through paintbrush and canvas, Joy began painting portraits of these strong women, bringing them to life in bold watercolors framed by inspirational hand-lettered quotes. As she mused over the power of each woman’s words, she found solace and hope—and felt compelled to share their stories. . Now, in this beautiful gift book, Joy has paired these illustrations and quotes with surprising, illuminating biographies to inspire women of all ages and backgrounds. That’s What She Said honors a powerful and diverse group of more than fifty women, from Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Virginia Woolf to Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—role models whose words and insights remind us that we must never give up the fight for a more just and equitable society. via Harper Wave . . . .

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    That's What She Said is a lovely addition to any coffee table. The book highlights more than 50 women, pairing a watercolor illustration with a quote and then a brief bio of their life and accomplishments. The illustrations are beautiful and many of the quotes, even if they were familiar, stopped me in my tracks. What I found most interesting was the description of each woman. I was familiar with most of the women selected but I found I still learned new and interesting facts, like how Amelia Ear That's What She Said is a lovely addition to any coffee table. The book highlights more than 50 women, pairing a watercolor illustration with a quote and then a brief bio of their life and accomplishments. The illustrations are beautiful and many of the quotes, even if they were familiar, stopped me in my tracks. What I found most interesting was the description of each woman. I was familiar with most of the women selected but I found I still learned new and interesting facts, like how Amelia Earhart started her own fashion line, including separates, which is now an imperative for any woman's wardrobe.  This is a quality book. I loved how it was laid out. In terms of the actual content, it's a 5 star book. However, I had a few questions along the lines of representation and intersectionality. There's a good array of diversity for race, religion, sexuality, and ability but this is still a collection of overwhelmingly white straight able-bodied women. I would have loved if there had been better representation of Native, trans, and disabled women, as there was only one woman for each of those backgrounds. I wish the author had gone into more detail about her selection process. Of course, we would all come up with different lists of notable women but I want to hear more about the thinking behind it. I'm also uncertain about the inclusion of Emmeline Pankhurst and think there needs to be better discussion when white suffragists are included in any such list as they were not always (or ever) welcoming to Women of Color and typically did not include them in their cause. But one more illustration of why intersectionality is so important when we talk about feminism. It's a quick read but what an affirming one to see so many women celebrated and championed. I'll display it in my home with pride.  Visit my Instagram to see photos of the book and illustrations! Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    CLM

    A charming little gift book containing winsome illustrations and short descriptions of 50 women and their quotes. Even if you think you know all about these women, trust author Kimothy Joy to unearth some key fact. For some examples of these quotes, see my review: http://perfectretort.blogspot.com/201... A charming little gift book containing winsome illustrations and short descriptions of 50 women and their quotes. Even if you think you know all about these women, trust author Kimothy Joy to unearth some key fact. For some examples of these quotes, see my review: http://perfectretort.blogspot.com/201...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I fear that my review is going to be wholly inadequate, and not do this book the justice that it deserves. That's What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women is a gorgeous, timely book that should be in the house of every person out there! The use of script and artwork create pages that are a joy to look at, and the quotes themselves just add to the complete package that is this book. You'll find wise words from women of all creeds, all colors, and all backgrounds. It's a beautiful reminder I fear that my review is going to be wholly inadequate, and not do this book the justice that it deserves. That's What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women is a gorgeous, timely book that should be in the house of every person out there! The use of script and artwork create pages that are a joy to look at, and the quotes themselves just add to the complete package that is this book. You'll find wise words from women of all creeds, all colors, and all backgrounds. It's a beautiful reminder that we're all connected and, of course, that women should feel empowered! Honestly, I feel a bit badly that it took me this long to get to this review. I actually devoured this whole book, eyes roving over each perfect page, the day I received it in the mail. It, quite fittingly, came at a time when I was feeling like my anxiety was going to overwhelm me again. There was something comforting in looking at the wise words of some many amazing women, and it grounded me again. It's amazing what a simple book like this can do. Each and every page is a delight, and that's truthfully the highest praise I can give this book. The whole thing is a work of art. So if you haven't already added this book to your TBR, please do. Otherwise simply go buy a copy! You won't regret it. On those days when you need a little reminder of the goodness and the wisdom in the world, Kimothy Joy's book will be there for you.

  5. 5 out of 5

    LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)

    Nothing exactly breathtaking, but the artwork was gorgeous and the women inspiring. A nice little book to have on hand when you need a dose of encouragement.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara Strand

    I have to say I'm not sold on the cover, but I can see why an understated and simple design would be pleasing to the eye. If you are looking for positive affirmations and encouraging words every day, this is a great book to add to your collection. Forget Pinterest motivational quotes from nobody, this has what you need from people we all know (Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, etc) and some that aren't household names (Zaha Hadid, Wilma Mankiller, Pat I have to say I'm not sold on the cover, but I can see why an understated and simple design would be pleasing to the eye. If you are looking for positive affirmations and encouraging words every day, this is a great book to add to your collection. Forget Pinterest motivational quotes from nobody, this has what you need from people we all know (Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, etc) and some that aren't household names (Zaha Hadid, Wilma Mankiller, Patsy Mink, Emmeline Pankhurst, Shirley Chisholm, etc). The book includes a short bio of each woman featured, including why you should know about them, and the opposite page has a stand out quote from them. The book also has each contributor drawn in a brilliant illustration. I got through the book rather quickly (it's just over 100 pages) but I finished it feeling more pride in women than I did before and had a greater appreciation of the trials these women went through to get to where they are today (or when they passed away, in some cases). If your daughter has the task of dressing up as someone famous, this is your one stop shop on who to pick and the choices are pretty fantastic.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Holly's Little Book Reviews

    I love absolutely everything about this book. Although small in size, this little read is full of beautiful, courageous, inspirational women. Each page is dedicated to a woman who has made a difference in our world and lives... from writers to activists, politicians to scientists, and everything in between. Kimothy Joy started by creating beautiful watercolor portraits and paired each with a memorable quote and short story about the over fifty different women featured in the book. Each story fil I love absolutely everything about this book. Although small in size, this little read is full of beautiful, courageous, inspirational women. Each page is dedicated to a woman who has made a difference in our world and lives... from writers to activists, politicians to scientists, and everything in between. Kimothy Joy started by creating beautiful watercolor portraits and paired each with a memorable quote and short story about the over fifty different women featured in the book. Each story filled me with hope, pride, and a reminder to live passionately and with purpose. I hope Kimothy Joy is working on her next project, because we need more books like this one.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly K

    Little snippets from some epic ladies.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    I rounded out my "Women's History Month" with this great, inspirational read from Kimothy Joy. Joy paints stunning pictures of women along with quotes from them in this book. She also includes a mini-biography of each woman. There are so many great people in this book. Some are more familiar than others but all are very inspirational. The illustrations are what makes this book really special. They are beautiful and Joy does a great job of capturing the persona of each woman. They are very pretty I rounded out my "Women's History Month" with this great, inspirational read from Kimothy Joy. Joy paints stunning pictures of women along with quotes from them in this book. She also includes a mini-biography of each woman. There are so many great people in this book. Some are more familiar than others but all are very inspirational. The illustrations are what makes this book really special. They are beautiful and Joy does a great job of capturing the persona of each woman. They are very pretty paintings! This is a great book to read little by little so that you can fully digest all of the goodness in this book. This would also make a really nice gift book for someone you think needs an infusion of inspiration!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Thorne

    I am so sad to be finished with this book. What an illuminating and celebratory account of some really great ladies! If I had the money to do so, I’d buy this book for all of my nearest and dearest (both women and men). Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Kimothy Joy!!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a very beautiful book filled with one-page bios of influential women, accompanied by a lovely watercolor and ink portrait and inspirational quote. I liked that I learned about some women who I hadn't heard of before. This would make a lovely gift for a young girl, especially as the bios are short and contain fun modern language (such as referring to Emmeline Pankhurst as the "OG suffragette"). However, I do have some nitpicks that dragged my star rating down: -The women featured are largel This is a very beautiful book filled with one-page bios of influential women, accompanied by a lovely watercolor and ink portrait and inspirational quote. I liked that I learned about some women who I hadn't heard of before. This would make a lovely gift for a young girl, especially as the bios are short and contain fun modern language (such as referring to Emmeline Pankhurst as the "OG suffragette"). However, I do have some nitpicks that dragged my star rating down: -The women featured are largely American, and while there's a good amount of Black representation, there's few other minorities (some, but few). -I think it's important to note in a bio of Helen Keller that she held some highly suspect beliefs about eugenics. -Sojouner Truth's bio mentioned her "Ain't I a Woman" speech, which is understandable, but eventually biographers need to start acknowledging this title as revisionist history. Sojouner Truth was not from the South, and did not speak with a southern dialect (in fact, she only spoke Dutch for much of her early life). Her impromptu speech did not have an official title, but it is far more likely that her statement was not "Ain't I a Woman," but rather "Am I Not a Woman?" -In the Janet Mock bio, the author used the term "transgendered" rather than the correct "transgender".

  12. 4 out of 5

    TammyJo Eckhart

    This is another of the inspirational women books that has been coming out regularly since the 2016 general election in the USA. In this case we have 50 small biographies along with 50 portraits that Kimothy Joy painted when she was working through her emotions about said election. I like the images, they are well done, they look like the women named, but there is a repeated general motif near each image that lacks the inspiration I've seen in similar image/text books over the past year plus. Out This is another of the inspirational women books that has been coming out regularly since the 2016 general election in the USA. In this case we have 50 small biographies along with 50 portraits that Kimothy Joy painted when she was working through her emotions about said election. I like the images, they are well done, they look like the women named, but there is a repeated general motif near each image that lacks the inspiration I've seen in similar image/text books over the past year plus. Out of the 50 only a few were unknown, there are dozens of women who I've seen repeatedly in those same books. It takes time for any book to go from writer to bookstore so I'm not suggesting that any one is copying but it feels a bit sad to see the same women over and over. The biographies were good if very short. These lack citations and the book does not offer a list of sources that Joy used to find the information and that was disappointing not only for the same of documentation but also for helping readers find more information. The mostly blank page to profile an inspirational was a nice touch but why not lay it out as the individual profiles were with the text on one side and a page for a drawing or painting on the other?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ghazaleh غزاله صدر

    I expected much more. In a book where there is no sign of people like Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Maryam Mirzakhani, Agathie Christie, Margaret Thatcher, and many other actually important and influential women, the writer has chosen to include people like Iris Apfel, Misty Copeland, Patti Smith or Grace Jones!! This is not a book about powerful women, it is rather a book about women that “this writer” deems important, likes and wants to include in her book. Also, even though t I expected much more. In a book where there is no sign of people like Florence Nightingale, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Maryam Mirzakhani, Agathie Christie, Margaret Thatcher, and many other actually important and influential women, the writer has chosen to include people like Iris Apfel, Misty Copeland, Patti Smith or Grace Jones!! This is not a book about powerful women, it is rather a book about women that “this writer” deems important, likes and wants to include in her book. Also, even though the book is titled “That’s What She Said”, it is more about the drawings and the biography than the important things these women have said, not to mention that the quotes chosen for each person could have been much much better in many cases. So again, this book is a collection of quotations that “this writer” likes from each of these women.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A stunning collection of inspiring women and their inspiring words. KJ's collection highlights 50 influential and inspiring women; their work and their words and the way in which they've impacted and changed the world. This is a collection that could have gone on forever but KJ limits this to 50 women that she's identified and researched and that she personally finds influential. I really enjoyed this collection; there were a number of inspiring women that I already knew but a multitude of other A stunning collection of inspiring women and their inspiring words. KJ's collection highlights 50 influential and inspiring women; their work and their words and the way in which they've impacted and changed the world. This is a collection that could have gone on forever but KJ limits this to 50 women that she's identified and researched and that she personally finds influential. I really enjoyed this collection; there were a number of inspiring women that I already knew but a multitude of others that I didn't know or didn't know their full history. Each page is adorned by a stunning picture of the influential woman in question. The artwork is definitely something that i'd love to have on my walls if I decided to destroy this wonderful book collection. An easy read for sure but an important collection of women who have changed the world. I'd love to see a part 2 to this one day.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ine Heyerick

    'That's What She Said' by Kimothy Joy is a beautifully illustrated book with a collection of quotes by 50 inspirational women. You also get a short biography for every woman, which briefly explains her merits and achievements. The illustrations are really nice, and I liked the variety of the fields in which the portrayed women were or are still active: politics, sports, education, fashion, literature, science, etc. However, the selection of the women is rather US-focussed. Also, the "biographies 'That's What She Said' by Kimothy Joy is a beautifully illustrated book with a collection of quotes by 50 inspirational women. You also get a short biography for every woman, which briefly explains her merits and achievements. The illustrations are really nice, and I liked the variety of the fields in which the portrayed women were or are still active: politics, sports, education, fashion, literature, science, etc. However, the selection of the women is rather US-focussed. Also, the "biographies" were very short and often too simplified for my liking. I would have liked some more depth and background. All in all, not a must read, but definitely a nice addition to any coffee table for a quick sense of empowerment.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary Margaret

    I though this compilation of quotes and mini biographies was inspirational, but I will also say that the writing tended to be too sophisticated while also trying to be conversational. It became incongruous, and I wasn’t drawn into the writing as a result. I thought the choices of women highlighted were diverse and thoughtful, but I also feel like it was odd, too, and, perhaps, a bit random? It was a good read and a nice one to start the year off with to motivate me, but I don’t think it’s groundb I though this compilation of quotes and mini biographies was inspirational, but I will also say that the writing tended to be too sophisticated while also trying to be conversational. It became incongruous, and I wasn’t drawn into the writing as a result. I thought the choices of women highlighted were diverse and thoughtful, but I also feel like it was odd, too, and, perhaps, a bit random? It was a good read and a nice one to start the year off with to motivate me, but I don’t think it’s groundbreaking, either. The art alone would be worth 5 stars, though - I loved the style of the portraits and the quote choices were absolutely great. This was a solid 3 out of 5 stars for me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    The beautifully illustrated book, with striking watercolors of 98 influential women from history and contemporary life is full of inspirational quotations by each woman and accompanied by brief biographies. Although I was familiar with most of the spotlighted women, many were unknown to me previously, highlighting how overlooked many of their outstanding accomplishments have not been given due recognition by the world. Every young woman should own this book in order that she be inspired to reach The beautifully illustrated book, with striking watercolors of 98 influential women from history and contemporary life is full of inspirational quotations by each woman and accompanied by brief biographies. Although I was familiar with most of the spotlighted women, many were unknown to me previously, highlighting how overlooked many of their outstanding accomplishments have not been given due recognition by the world. Every young woman should own this book in order that she be inspired to reach high and believe "yes, I can."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liz P

    I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway recently and it is amazing. The author has beautiful illustrations of each woman she quotes along with information about each woman. I think I might buy a second copy to give away as a gift! In the back of the book, the author leaves room for you to write-in a quote and story about a woman in your life that has inspired you. This is a great book all around.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This beautifully illustrated book has a quick "Cliff's Notes" biography of 50 women from 1800-present of all ages and races. It wasn't quite what I thought, but I feel it would make a great gift for a graduate. The illustrations have a quote from each of the women, and on the following page, the biography. Quick Read. This beautifully illustrated book has a quick "Cliff's Notes" biography of 50 women from 1800-present of all ages and races. It wasn't quite what I thought, but I feel it would make a great gift for a graduate. The illustrations have a quote from each of the women, and on the following page, the biography. Quick Read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    M.C. Chronister

    This book was great. It is informative and has lovely illustrations. I plan to read this with my daughters to teach them about influential women in history. To show them that women are powerful, intelligent, and strong and that they should never let anyone dim their light.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This beautiful book includes short biographies of influential women of our time and throughout history along with gorgeous watercolor illustrations. This would make a perfect graduation gift for the female graduate.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    The illustrations in this book were great, but the background information on the "influential women" was a bit bland and inconsistent in the delivery (sometimes serious, sometimes with a bit of humor). But I really liked the compilation and hope to share it with my kids. The illustrations in this book were great, but the background information on the "influential women" was a bit bland and inconsistent in the delivery (sometimes serious, sometimes with a bit of humor). But I really liked the compilation and hope to share it with my kids.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    This is a beautiful little book that introduces some of the most interesting, inspiring and influential women we should all know. There is so much to learn from these women and this book launches us on a quest to know them better.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maria Healey

    I spent a few months reading about one woman each night with my 8 year old son before bed in order to share these remarkable stories with him. I loved Kimothy’s art as much as her words! Highly recommend for anyone in your life! This is a beautiful book!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anjali Khemani

    Short read, but by no means does it lack any of the elements needed for a good book. The author beautifully highlights strong women from all eras. Most of them, I’d never heard of before. It was nice to read about more powerful women from all ages, backgrounds.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Katsion vadbunker

    What a lovely,powerful little book. I am embarrased to say that several of these kick ass women i knew little to nothing about. It is a great inspiration for further inquiry by adults and children.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    This was an inspirational book. It will be good to display for women's history month. happy to see Wilma Mankiller included. This was an inspirational book. It will be good to display for women's history month. happy to see Wilma Mankiller included.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    A wonderful look at women in our society (now and then) that made great contributions to history and were an inspiration to us all.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Fantastic little bios and wise words - combined with Joy's brilliant artistry - make for an excellent book, and one I'll be recommending to students! Fantastic little bios and wise words - combined with Joy's brilliant artistry - make for an excellent book, and one I'll be recommending to students!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    So MANY powerful words of women . Rachel Carson- The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the Universe about us, the less taste we shall have for Destruction

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