Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Lately we have been the lucky recipient of some amazing children's books as generous gifts for our daughter who is due to arrive in two weeks(!). My SIL gave me "Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls" claiming that it's my 8yo niece's absolute favorite book right now. I had no idea what a cult following this book had garnered--and is continuing to garner--and now that I've read it, I'm completely sold. To begin with, the story of the book's creation is almost as extraordinary as the women portrayed in the book itself. The two women who wrote the book raised more than a million dollars on kickstarter to independently create and publish the book, the outcome of which is stunning and inspiring. All of the gorgeous illustrations were created by woman artists, and the 100 women who are highlighted span history and the globe.
This book takes one page per Woman to summarize where they're from and why they kick ass, accompanied by a custom-illustrated portrait. For me, the Women fell into three categories, and although the intrigue of each Woman is consistent from the first page to the last, here are some personal standouts:
- Women I have ashamedly never heard of, but now have been inspired to research further:
- Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius
- Ann Makosinski: Canadian millennial who won Google Science Fair by inventing a flashlight powered by body heat
- Isabel Allende: Chilean writer
- Jill Tarter: American astronomer searching for proof of extraterrestrial life
- Lozen: Native American warrior
- Nanny of the Maroons: Jamaican Queen who fought against British invaders who enslaved her people
- Wilma Rudolph: American Olympic track athlete who overcame polio as a child
- Women I knew of and was reassured that they had been selected for this book:
- Amelia Earhart: "Adventure is worthwhile in itself."
- Frida Kahlo: "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"
- Julia Child: "A party without a cake is just a meeting."
- Women I thoughtI knew about, but found way more cool info:
- Cleopatra: I know, I know, I still need to study up more.
- Coco Chanel: before she became the iconic fashion designer, she was brought up in a convent and learned to sew using only black and white cloth -- thus her "little black dress" infamy
- Elizabeth I: supported the arts, including Shakespeare; never married
- Virginia Woolf: the authors' description of her includes a few key sentences about depression designed to introduce and de-stigmatize the concept of depression for young children, which I've never seen before and appreciated
Each story was laid out like a fairy-tale, in that most were in a "Once upon a time..." format. However, each mini-biography quickly cuts to the chase about the background and importance of each woman's role in history, past or present. The wording is clear and clever, and I can easily understand how my niece is enthralled. This book is not just for little girls, though. It's about girls, and for everyone.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (Books 1 & 2) are only available for special order. Please contact us for availability: https://dottersbooks.com/pages/contact-us