'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 22 June 2020

Review: Taking the Lead - How Jacinda Ardern Wowed the World

Here is a story about an amazing woman and leader, Jacinda Ardern, whose compassion and open-heartedness made a lasting impression on the world.

Red dominates in the illustrations. It’s the colour of energy, determination, strength and power amongst many other virtues. It announces all that is Ardern. Phoebe Morris has made a bold statement with her striking cover and equally striking additions through the book, beginning with the end pages.

As a young girl, Ardern learnt to drive a tractor on her parents’ farm. She also wanted to help people.
An opportunity to do that came in the form of working for the Labour Party in the 1999 General Election.

It seemed that all she did in life from then on paved the way to what she was meant to become. Each progressive experience was intermingled with social and public service of some kind.

She was New Zealand’s youngest MP elected to Parliament. There were those that believed women were unable to fill such an important role. When she became Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, views changed.

The things she stands for are documented in this biographical picture book made accessible to younger readers. Jacinda Ardern stands tall as a role model and inspiration for all young girls and women that know they can but are told they can’t because of their gender. She has proven that motherhood has no boundaries and if anything, it strengthens one’s patience and endurance in all things.

Ending poverty, women’s rights and improving their working lives, peace and climate change, are passionate goals to her.

Who can forget Jacinda Ardern embracing a Somali-born woman after the attack by a gunman on Muslim civilians?

There is a double spread at the end with a timeline of special successes by women from 1918 onward which incorporates Ardern’s achievements among them from 1984 till today.

Title: Taking the Lead: How Jacinda Ardern Wowed the World
Author: David Hill
Illustrator: Phoebe Morris
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $19.99
Publication Date: March 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780143774518
For ages: 6+
Type: Non Fiction