It’s only April so it might sound like a rather bold statement but I do have a strong feeling that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls will make it to the top three of my favourite children’s books published this year, if not the decade! This is a great celebration of women, their true strength and worth.
It reads like a collection of short, one-page children’s fairy tales with just one major difference- that the stories are real; each about a historical or modern female who, thanks to her talent, wisdom, personality and perseverance made a difference, a difference that has inspired, and continues to inspire, millions.
Some of those inspirational females are firmly ingrained in our culture. Michelle Obama, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks to name just a few. We know about them, we respect them, admire them and teach our children about them. But some, and this is where the strength of this book lies, are slowly being forgotten by our current society and, from what I observe, are rarely a part of national curricula or dinner conversations. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls reminds us about women across the millennia from all continents, who, in a world oppressed by men, managed to help shape the world we now know.
- Jingu 🇯🇵 a Japanese empress from the second century
- Hypatia 🇬🇷 a Greek mathematition and philosopher
- Jacquotte Delahaye 🏴☠️ a pirate(ss?) from Haiti
- Lozen, a brave and strong Apache warrior
- Irena Sendlerowa 🇵🇱 a Polish war hero who saved 2.5k Jewish children from the Holocaust
- Manal al-Sharif 🇸🇦 a Saudi Arabian women’s right activist who helped to start a women’s right to drive campaign in 2011
- Mary Kom 🥊 a petite Olympic Indian boxer
- Michaela DePrince 🇸🇱 a ballet dancer from Sierra Leone
These are just a few unsung heroines who, despite their circumstances, changed our world for the better. And with beautiful illustrations this book celebrates them whilst also empowering the next generation of readers.
My worms are very young, far too young to follow or understand the brief biographies in the book (in fact neither of them could give a monkeys what I’m reading to them when their eyelids are drooping before they fall asleep, just so long as they hear my voice and there is a picture for them to look at). Nonetheless, I do read them those stories regularly. I read them those simple but powerful feminist manifestos because I want them to grow up in a world where they believe they can do and become anyone they choose to be, be it a spy, an inventor, a scientist or a housewife.
In a world where just by being born female they already have the disadvantage of being widely perceived as the ‘weaker gender’. I want them to understand, that there is no such thing. That we are all equal and, as the old cliche goes, the world is their oyster. I feel it is my duty as the parent to make them aware that their potential simply cannot be defined or compromised by their gender.
And what makes me superhappy? My worms received their copy of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls from their father, a feminist as strong as I am and as strong as I hope my worms will become ❤️
Title/Author Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls rrp £17.99
Illustrations by various female artist. Each bold, unique and beautiful
Type Hard back
Causes Giggles? No, but it does make you smile with pride!
Good for: girls and boys alike (also adults!); learning about history, learning about influential women, learning about one’s true potential, bed-time reading; feminists, Montessori enthusiasts,
Perfect Worm Age: 4+ years (a beautiful book to keep for a lifetime)
🐛 Worms’ Rating: 🍎 🍎(=at 2 years and 3 months they are too young to appreciate it!)
🐞 Mama’s Rating: 🍎🍎🍎🍎🍎 (=delicious)