I chose this book with which to lead off because it features a little known unofficial female scientist who was the first to observe that butterflies do not spontaneously generate from mud. She further documented her findings in beautiful illustrations, thus making her also a scientific illustrator! Oh, and did I mention she was born in 1647, so just imagine the true significance of what this meant!
The illustrations that accompany this story exude a traditional, folk-like feel. But the bold black backgrounds coupled with daring and inventive layouts, echo the personality of the subject herself. My favorite description of her is the quote included in this collage from this book.
Though a picture book, a wonderful Historical Note is included for that all important 2nd audience to enjoy. Even if you're not into bugs, pick this one up, and suggest it as a reading list item at your local elementary school!