Writer Sandra Nickel and illustrator Helena Perez Garcia’s Breaking Through the Clouds is an inspiring picture book biography about the meteorologist whose discoveries helped us understand how weather works.
When Joanne Simpson (1923–2010) was a girl, she sailed her boat beneath the puffy white clouds of Cape Cod. As a pilot, she flew her plane so high, its wings almost touched them. And when World War II began and Joanne moved to the University of Chicago, a professor asked her to teach Air Force officers about those very clouds and the weather-changing winds. As soon as the war ended, Joanne decided to seriously study the clouds she had grown to love so much. Her professors laughed. They told her to go home. They told her she was no longer needed. They told her, “No woman ever got a doctorate in meteorology. And no woman ever will.”
But Joanne was stubborn. She sold her boat. She flew her last flight. She saved her money so that she could study clouds. She worked so hard and discovered so much that—despite what the professors said—she received a doctorate in meteorology. She was the first woman in the world to do so.
Breaking Through the Clouds tells the story of a trailblazing scientist whose discoveries about clouds and how they work changed everything we know about weather today.
"An energetic, compassionate examination of a determined researcher who left her mark on the field of atmospheric sciences."Publishers Weekly
"Pérez Garcia, a Spanish artist who uses color beautifully, illustrates the story with gouache paintings that place Simpson within orderly twentieth-century surroundings, while occasionally integrating imaginative elements that help viewers visualize her inspirations, her emotions, and her insightful work."Booklist
"[A] lyrical picture-book biography. . .Full-bleed illustrations in muted pastels straddle the literal and metaphorical."Horn Book Magazine