I am in love. And how! I cannot keep my hands off the midnight-blue cover of this book. Or off its stunning illustrations by artists from all over the world including Priya Kuriyan and Samidha Gunjal from India (not because I searched for Indian names right away but because these are the only two illustrators I knew). And the stories! Every page makes me fall in love all over again, every page is an inspiration, a reminder of how much women have struggled and how far they have come.
Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls has a hundred stories of inspirational women. Of women Mathematicians and Tattoo Artists and Motocross Racers. It has Jane Austen and Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks but also women whose life story I had never heard earlier such as Margherita Hack the astrophysicist or Millo Castro Zaldarriaga the drummer.
Each life story is summarized in one page accompanied by a gorgeous portrait. The language is simple enough for my three-year old to understand and a lot of these anecdotes begin with ‘once’ or ‘once upon a time’, retaining a fairy-tale like quality that pull Rumi into the story. I let her look at the pictures and choose whose story she would like to hear. Since the stories are short and sweet we can read three to four every night.
Last night, she chose Malala. Later I showed her pictures of Malala on the Internet and we spoke about whether it is ok to not allow girls to go to school. I absolutely loved that I could speak to Rumi about this, something that I probably never would have initiated without this book.
The book had been popping up in my social media for a while now and it was one of those books I made a note of to get when Rumi got to the right age, but it was available at a steal price online and I jumped at the opportunity to buy it at a cheap price. And it turns out that I didn’t really need to wait because there is so much for even a three-year old to get out of this wonderful book; even something as simple as turning the pages together and appreciating how different each woman looks and talking about how each one is beautiful and stunning in her own way.
WHAT RUMI LOVES: The illustrations. It is an eye-opener for her how different and yet how beautiful women look! Although we try to buy books with diverse protagonists she had unfortunately never seen such a varied palette of women characters before.
WHAT I LOVE: The succinct, compactly-told life stories; simple and engaging. Also, the last page, which invites girls to write their own life-story and draw a self-portrait (I cannot wait to do that with my daughter!)
I cannot recommend this book enough if you are raising a girl, to inspire her and set her mind on fire and tell her loud and clear how she can be anything she wants. I find myself devouring the book when Rumi is away at school and the stories give me goosebumps and really motivate me. I believe it would also make a fantastic read for boys although they would wonder why there are no boys in it (and maybe it could lead to a fantastic open discussion on women?)
There is also a second volume now available on pre-order. These are the kinds of gifts that will stay with our children for life and really shape their consciousness and thoughts, that can be used throughout their life, first as stories and later for thought-provoking discussions.
The price is totally worth it but now you can buy it at an amazing discount! Get it, get it, get it, you will not regret it!