Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker” as Want to Read:
Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  186 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Meet Alice Guy-Blaché. She made movies—some of the very first movies, and some of the most exciting! Blow up a pirate ship? Why not? Crawl into a tiger's cage? Of course! Leap off a bridge onto a real speeding train? It will be easy! Driven by her passion for storytelling, Alice saw a potential for film that others had not seen before, allowing her to develop new narrative ...more
Hardcover, 60 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Chronicle Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lights! Camera! Alice!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lights! Camera! Alice!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  186 ratings  ·  45 reviews

Sort order
Anyone who enjoys stories of individuals who have been forgotten, ignored or never given full credit for their accomplishments will enjoy this biography. It is worth noting that often it is women or the poor whose contributions to history of whose lives have been marginalized. In this case, the focus is Alice Guy Blache, who parlayed her love for books and stories into a career in film-making. The book covers how a disaster that caused financial ruin for her family in France prompted her to take ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Thanks to the publisher for this review copy. All opinions are my own.

Loved this narrative nonfiction picture book about Alice Guy-Blache, the first female filmmaker. The writing is engaging and shows Alice' creativity, persistence and sense of humor. It describes Alice as a trailblazer, even if the changing film industry meant she never got full credit for her contributions.

It's a bit longer than the average picture book at 60 pages, so there's a lot of story here and so much to look at in the
Jared White
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm not a film buff, so it's probably not too surprising that I had never heard of Alice Guy-Blache, but it was very interesting to learn about her in this new book!

What an intriguing, informative, sad, and ultimately happy story. It's exciting to think that in the coming years more and more women's achievements that were pushed under the rug of history will be newly discovered!

First sentence: Once there was a little girl named Alice, and she lived on stories. Her grand-mere fed her folktales as she stirred the cherry soup. Her nursemaid spun colorful yarns as she helped button up her boots.

Premise/plot: Lights! Camera! Alice! is a picture book of Alice Guy-Blaché. If you've never heard of her then you're in good company. But all shall be remedied with a quick read of this picture book for older readers. The story opens in France...

My thoughts: I found this an interest
Jennifer Strong
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, children-s, feminism
I just love the illustrations! Alice was truly creative and innovative!
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alice Guy-Blache was the first woman film-maker in the world. When motion pictures were first invented, they were used to show dull things like people boarding a train. Alice saw an opportunity to use them to tell stories, like the stories she had loved since she was a child. Alice figured out how to run film backward to show people flying upwards among other clever tricks. She made colored films by hand and created the first movies with sound. Alice moved to America with her new husband and dis ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this biography. I had no idea that a woman might have made a film before Georges Melies. I think this is a must have for most libraries.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: filmmakers, movies
Well, if one of the purposes of biographies is to introduce young readers (and their teacher) to people they may never have heard of, this book certainly fills that bill. Born in France in 1875, Alice Guy-Blaché loved stories, but after her father's bookstore was destroyed and he died not long after, she realized she would need to get a job. Applying at a camera company, Alice discovered moving pictures. Alice thought moving pictures were great, but why not tell a story as well. Alice loved maki ...more
Rich F
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew nothing about Alice Guy-Blache, but I feel like after reading this short picture book I have the basic idea of her life and importance and I want to learn more. (Isn’t that the joy of a well-done non-fiction picture book?) The artwork matched the theme of filmmaking effectively, especially the transitional pages. I’m a fan of non-fiction picture books for early tweens in general, and this one is one of the best I’ve found by chance.
Lyndsay Townsend
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a gorgeous book, technically aimed at children but made for a perfect gift. The illustrations are just so bright and lovely, and it was a pleasure to read!
Erin Buhr
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-nonfiction
I find it startling that someone like Alice could be completely unknown to me. I loved learning about her life and creativity. I loved the way this book was laid out. It almost felt like an old time movie. The ending felt a little unsatisfying to me, but the well done back matter did help. Overall a well written, delightfully illustrated, compelling story about quite a woman.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow I am SO MAD that I studied film in high school and college and NEVER heard of Alice Guy-Blaché?? This is a very shareable picture book biography with lovely illustrations separated into sections with title cards and I LOVE that.
Here is one more woman I've never heard about, a woman whose work has sometimes been erased from history so that a man can take credit for her work. Meet Alice Guy-Blaché. She made movies—some of the very first movies, and some of the most exciting! Growing up in a nice and well-to-do family, suddenly tragic circumstances made them lose everything. Alice learned typing and found a job, with a camera company. When the possibility of a moving picture camera occurred, she saw the possibilities of i ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Lights! Camera! Alice! : The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmaker by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Simona Ciraolo, PICTURE BOOK, BIOGRAPHY, Chronicle Books. 2018. $18. 1452141347



Alice Guy Blaché is one of the world's first movie makers. She worked for a camera company and was allowed to make movies after hours which she used to demonstrate the new motion picture camera. Soon her films became a huge s
Beautifully illustrated - pastels and silent movie cards make this an unforgettable biography.
Lauren- The Smile Lines
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
kidlitexchange #partner
Thanks to @chroniclebooks for sharing a review copy of this PB with @kidlitexchange
Do you know who Alice Guy-Blaché is? I had no idea! Lights! Camera! Alice! The Thrilling Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker is an exciting book with imagination and adventure!
This woman had a love for telling stories and never gave up on her dreams for sharing those stories with the world! Her story is pretty amazing!
I love how the book is broken up into sections of her life. It is e
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
@kidlitexchange #partner – all opinions are my own.
A fascinating account of the life of a woman who was a pioneer in the world of film making! I am always impressed and amazed when I learn about strong accomplished women who lived in times when they weren’t taken seriously because of their gender. Beautiful illustrations, nostalgic title cards, and French words sprinkled throughout are icing on the cake. The “Director’s Cut” and “Credits” at the end are informative and motivated me to learn more
Syntha Green
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful biography about the first (little known) woman filmmaker. The illustrations are lovely, mentions are made of a few of her films you can watch on the internet, and the title cards are done in old school silent film style, using actual titles from her films. Very well designed.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this picture book so much! Thank you Mara Rockliff for telling the story and including so many great sources! For my full review, visit
Interesting story. I had never heard of this woman. I like the way the story is kept simple, yet includes biographical information.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Go, Alice, go!
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, picture-books
I hadn't heard of Alice before this. Empowering story. Lovely illustrations.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My daughter and I both loved this story about a film pioneer. A great read! (And we'd never heard of Alice Guy Buche before, so we will definitely be looking for her films.
Debbie Tanner
Lovely picture book biography of Alice Guy-Blache, an early film maker.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of Alice Guy-Blanché. Thankfully, this wonderful picture book remedied that situation!
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A well written biography of a pioneer woman in film whom I was not familiar with.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love it when children’s non fiction books tell me something I didn’t already know. In Lights! Camera! Alice! by Mara Rockliff I learned about a European woman who created “talking pictures” in color about the same time Thomas Edison is credited with inventing silent moving pictures. Alice grew up loving stories. When the opportunity arose to work at a camera company, she used the chance to create stories for the new moving pictures cameras. Lights! Camera! Alice! is a biographical picture book ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
None of the filmmakers I know had ever heard of Alice Guy-Blache before I showed them this book and asked them about her. These are people who know about the history of film. It breaks my heart a little bit, but also makes me so happy that this book is here.
Alice Guy Blache was not only the first female filmmaker, she was also one of the first people to create movies that told a story. What you learn as you read the book and especially the back matter is that in early films women had many roles
Laura G
I love biographies that introduce me to people I have never heard of, and this book fits that bill. It's remarkable that she is so little known. I loved the old-school title cards that marked various episodes in Alice's life, and the author note in the back tells us that these are all titles of films she made. How cool! The illustrations were just OK for me; and it is a little longish--lots of pages--but not a lot of text on each page.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
This book is a fascinating introduction to the mother of movies, a Frenchwoman who invented color movies and talking pictures decades before they were common in Hollywood. It's also, tangentially, the story of how women were an integral part of the early development of cinema, and were pushed out as movies became big business. Even though Lights! Camera! Alice! has a serious side, it tells an inspiring story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Mara Rockliff is the author of many lively historical books for children, including Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France, winner of the Cook Prize and an Orbis Pictus Honor book.

Her newest titles are Lights! Camera! Alice! The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker and Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz. Other recent books includ