This book is not found in book shops. And it is not just one story. It brings the stories we may not have heard, but really should. This is Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls!
The idea started when Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, two entrepreneurs, saw how few children’s books contain stories about girls. According to a study (2011) 100% of books contain male characters. Whereas only 75% of books contain female characters.
And when you look at the aspirations of these characters, the difference becomes even greater. In children’s media only 19.5% of female characters have jobs or have career aspirations. Meanwhile, 80.5% of male characters do.
So they wanted to create a book that would inspire children. And be one that they would have wanted when they were growing up. Their aim is that it will inspire young girls and boys to reach the extraordinary; become astronauts, architects, mathematicians and athletes. Showing boys and girls the amazing jobs and actions women can do.
They describe their book as:
“a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present”
Which is pretty awesome.
And the book really is exquisite. Every double page has an illustration of the inspirational woman on the right, with a beautiful glimpse of the woman’s life on the left.
The wonderful women include people from the past including Ada Lovelace, Frida Kahlo and the Bronte sisters. As well as people who are making history now, like Simone Biles, Serena Williams and Malala Yousafzai.
And it’s not just about the women in the book. The illustrations were created by 60 female artists from around the world too. So children get to not only read about amazing women, but see the wide diversity of their artwork too.
The book has received almost entirely positive praise.
Waterstones and The Book People both give it a 5/5! And it totally deserves this.
They say “If you can see it, you can be it”, and what better than 100 different people to see!
Things to Note
We should say that there are some women in the book that some people don’t agree with. Personally, I think including a transgender girl can be good, though I feel someone like Laverne Cox would have been better suited. There’s also two pirates, who probably don’t have the most admirable professions. However they do show a full range of what women can do.
There also may be a few people who you wish were in the book but aren’t. But that opens up a great opportunity! Let your children know these people. Let them create their own book of amazing women. I’d include Ronda Rousey, Miranda Hart and Rachel Bloom (because of how they inspire me) but there are so many women out there who’s stories deserve to be heard. And if children hear them, you never know, it might be the thing that raises their aspirations.
If you want to find out more, or have a look at the plans for the sequel, go to rebelgirls.co
For our reviewed books about inspirational girls, have a look at the Karate Princess, about a unconventional girl and her great skill.