Indelible Ann: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards

Indelible Ann: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
June 22, 2022
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A folksy, larger-than-life picture book biography about Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas who has inspired countless women in politics today.

Dorothy Ann Willis hailed from a small Texas town, but early on she found her voice and the guts to use it.

During her childhood in San Diego and her high school years back in Texas (when she dropped the "Dorothy"), Ann discovered a spark and passion for civic duty. It led her all the way to Washington, DC, where she, along with other girls from around the country, learned about the business of politics. Fast forward to Ann taking on the political boys' club: she became county commissioner, then state treasurer, and finally governor of Texas. In this stunning picture book biography, full of vim, vigor, and folksy charm, two Texan creators take us through the life of the legendary "big mouth, big hair" governor of Texas, a woman who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and in turn became an inspiration to Hillary Clinton and countless others.

Editor review

1 review
A Texas Original
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Born in Texas in 1933, Dorothy Ann Willis grew up during a very different time in the US. Life required a lot of hard work, but she wasn't afraid of it. When her family moved to California to be near her father, who was stationed there, more opportunities opened for her. She got to see Eleanor Roosevelt speak, and was inspired by her social activism. Moving back to Texas, Ann excelled in speech and debate, and was chosen to represent Texas at Girls Nation in Washington, D.C., where she met President Truman. This brought her to the attention to the Waco League of Women Voters, and one member even introduced her to his son... whom she eventualy married. While raising her four children, Ann helped out with political causes and eventually earned a place as county commissioner, and then as state treasurer. She lead many innovations in the department, and was dedicated to helping improve her home state. Once elected governor, she used her folksy humor and long tradition of hard work to bring a fresh personality to the office, where she continued her practice of social reforms. After losing office to George W. Bush, she continued working on causes she believed in until her death in 2006.
Good Points
Young girls today often don't understand how difficult it was for women in the mid twentieth century to pursue their career goals. Richards was about my mother's age, so I am well aware of the difficulties women during this time period faced. Richards' rise is impressive, and some of these difficulties are addressed. It's important to show a variety of experiences in picture book biographies, and Richards was a pioneer in many ways.

The illustrations are colorful and show the styles of the times well. This is a perfect length for a picture book-- there's enough information to get a feel for Richards career, but not so much that there is too much text to make for a comfortable read aloud.

There are so many women of this age who worked hard for little reward, but who ultimately succeeded in politics at a time when it was difficult for women to do so. Young readers with a political bent will enjoy this along with Chambers' Shirley Chisholm is a Verb, Bryant's Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight: Patsy Takemoto Mink and the Fight for Title IX, and Boxer's A Seat at the Table: The Nancy Pelosi Story.
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