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Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

In honor of International Women's Day we checked in with one of our favorite female authors, Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara. Isabel has penned a fantastic series of children's books, Little People, Big World, featuring inspiring women & men throughout history. From her home in Barcelona she shares the inspiration behind her books and her thoughts on being a woman in today’s world.

How do you choose the women you write about?

It’s easy. I just go for women I’d have loved to meet when I was a little girl.

Which women in your life inspired you most?

There were not too many real female role models to look up to (besides my mum and grandmums) when I was a kid. So I was mostly inspired by Pippi Longstocking’s stories and Michael Ende’s Momo. I wanted to be the strongest girl in the world, but also a good listener.

Do you think girls today have greater opportunities than those of past generations?

Being a woman has always been an extra effort. If you’re lucky to be born in the perfect environment with everything on your side, the extra effort is a tiny pebble stuck to your sole throughout life. Sometimes it’s annoying but doesn’t stop you from achieving your goals, succeeding in every role you want to assume. But for some girls, the truth is that this extra effort is not a pebble, but a giant rock on their shoulders. For these girls, it is much harder to change their role.

How would you describe yourself as a child?

I guess “stubborn” and “independent” are the adjectives that would have best described me.

With what you know now, what would you say to yourself as a child?

Don't worry. In 40 years, someone at LEGO will start to realize there were not enough ladies in their sets.

Do you have a motto?

Never forget what it feels like to be a child.

Anything else you would like to add?

¡Viva las mujeres!  :)

You can find Isabel's books at your local bookstore and follow her on Instagram at @mariaisabelsanchezvegara

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