Some Rochester-area children’s librarians celebrated just that when they gathered late January to mark the upcoming release of fellow librarian Julie Cummins’ newest book: Women Explorers: Perils, Pistols, and Petticoats (Dial, 2012). The book is filled with drama and excitement as Cummins’ lively text describes ten women, all born before the dawn of the twentieth century, whose largely unknown escapades sent them “gallivanting around the world to explore new territories or undiscovered places.”
The party had its own drama with accoutrements including a safari hat for the guest of honor, a banner of passports, nail files inserted in spider webs (Lucy Cheesman used one to cut through webs entangling her), portraits of each of the explorers, giraffes, and jungle grass. The pièce de résistance was a chocolate cake adorned by a dense chocolate spider, with legs draping over the sides of the cake—washed down with champagne, of course!
Kirkus calls Cummins’ subjects “feisty females;” her friends and colleagues toasted her as exactly that herself. Huzzah!