A friend of mine recently related that she had been stopped cold one day when her four-year-old daughter declared, “Girls can’t be heroes. Only boys can.”
This shocked young mama promptly sewed her daughter a cape and held a Hero Day. Together they found lots of ways that even a four-year-old could be a hero-in-training.
Little girls (and boys) pick up the most unfortunate things at such early ages from the ocean of air they live in called our culture. One of those is, sadly, a feeling of limitations on what girls are allowed to dream of doing and becoming.
Enter this gem of a book chock full of heroic women.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, compiled by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, illustrated by sixty female artists from around the world
published in 2016 by Timbuktu Labs
One hundred, one-page stories of heroic women are gathered in these pages and I am telling you, your heart will burn with gladness as you read them! Women from ancient times and in the news today. Women from all corners of the globe and every race.
Dancers and doctors and film directors. Spies and scientists and war heroes. A race car driver. An orchestra conductor. And my personal favorite, a poet/baker.
The stories are super short. Each takes about a minute to read. They’re written with a hint of the fairy tale about them. Once there was a curious girl…or Once upon a time there was a girl who…making them tasty as can be for a bedtime snack.
It is no small feat to capture these women’s lives and contributions in such a short passage, retaining her individuality, highlighting something that glints with fascination, and reading not like a wikipedia article but rather an enticing sneak peek at a life you’ll certainly want to explore further. I thoroughly enjoyed reading my way through the whole volume but be aware that these are far from in-depth. That’s how we get 100 of them!
Accompanying the stories are a-ma-zing full-page portraits created by an international collection of women artists. Oh, their work is stunning. I love the variety of styles and immense strength exuding from each one. Riveting.
At the close of these accounts there’s space for the book’s owner to write her own story and draw her own portrait. A brilliant touch.
I’d peg this book for ages 7 and up. There is one account of a young, transgender girl, but beyond that there is no discussion of sexuality. Issues such as depression, violence, child marriage, the Holocaust, are softened with tact. It was funded by crowdsourcing and is not available through Amazon. You can order a copy by heading to their website here, and I hope many of you will.