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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Bedtime for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

What is the kind of bedtime story you would want to read out to your children? The ones where a man has to rescue the princess or where the woman is the hero of her story? If the latter is what interests you then this is the book you need to buy for your child’s library. Good night stories for Rebel Girls.  I bought this book as a gift for a nine-year-old girl. Interestingly, that is the age when kids are finding their role models in cartoon figures and I thought it is always better to open a child’s mind to real-life heroes. After all, there are more chances of a young girl growing into Ruth Bader Ginsburg than Rapunzel! I bought my second copy as a gift to my daughter, who is still on picture books. I would want this book to be part of her library.

What to Expect– a hardbound book with beautiful portraits on one side of inspiring women and a little anecdote about their life, the adversities they have overcome, and their accomplishments.  Each story is about 250 words. The stories are written in simple sentences and don’t need assisted reading for nine years and above. The book has bold enough letters that give it a very storybook and not a textbook feel. The portraits simply beautiful caricatures. Each one with a quote by the featured woman.  The book follows an alphabetical order to display stories of hundred extraordinary women. The book is about women shattering stereotypes. All the stories narrated in a kid-friendly manner that makes them dynamic and interesting.

What I Liked– What I liked about the book is that it is written keeping in mind the challenges that women go through in every generation, every country, everywhere on the globe. Young children need to understand that cooking is a life skill and not a gender role likewise being an astronaut or a chief justice is also a skill-based job, not a gender-based one. When you read the story of  Eufrosina Cruz who did not want to make tortillas and became an indigenous woman President of Congress in Mexico, you inadvertently tell the young reader that there is nothing odd in women choosing a life which doesn’t involve around the regular household activities.

 The book is not only inspirational to kids but even for adults like me who felt moved reading about the story of Coco Chanel, a seamstress who did not have many colors to work with being in a convent since black was the only color the nuns would wear the famous “ little black dress” was designed. There are so many stories like this which can inspire anyone

The bright red first page of the book reads- To the rebel girls of the world: Dream bigger, aim higher, fight harder, and when in doubt, remember- You are right. I think that gives a kickstart to the reader.

What could have been better-

While the writing is made to look very simple.It gets repetitive and unimaginative after a few stories. I had my reservations for some role models depicted in the book- Pirates, politicians with a past, rockstars with a history of addiction while the book only focuses on their positive achievements but there about 15 personalities who, in my opinion, do not classify to be role models. I think Mother Teresa was not a rebel enough for the authors to be mentioned in the book!.

Recommended for– I would recommend this to all the young girls and boys.  Do not deprive young boys of reading this book. When a mother can be a role model for a boy than one of the best architects of the world Zaha Hadid can be too! It is a great book if you want to start a bed time reading ritual with your child.