A few days ago I bought this particular book for Melina and, although it differs greatly from the rest of her books, she often asks to read the book about important women as she says. I discovered it accidentally a few months ago when I saw a video on Facebook “The ugly truth of children’s book”, which is worth seeing (https://www.facebook.com/rebelgirls/videos/1596694693691853/?pnref=story). It is a video made by the two writers of the book and is about how women’s characters are presented in children’s books.
Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo at Goodnight stories for rebel girls tell us the story of 100 women who have defied the obstacles, natural, social and political, and they fulfilled their dreams. Each page presents the story of a woman, in simple words, and on the opposite page is her portrait. Wonderful illustration, by the way!
I am not one of those who demonizes Princesses and Barbie, I just believe in moderation (a remnant of my Philosophy studies – Ha-ha). All the fairy tales with princesses that are saved by princes and fairies are good, but they are just fairy tales. Of course, they have a role in shaping children’s imagination and speech. But this book talks about reality. It shows to young girls that they must have dreams and follow them, that the obstacles are to overcome them, that we must believe in our strengths, that no one can save us but us.
Melina is excited with the book, she goes through its pages and asks what each woman is. Every day we read some stories. Of course, I adjust them so that she can understand them, since she is only 4.5 years old. What I also found nice was that it brings children in touch with issues that you may not have had the chance to discuss with them so far. Reading, for example, the story of a girl who participates in Motor Cross races while she was born deaf, we ended up googling the internet symbols of sign language because Melina wanted to learn how she would speak to someone who could not hear her.
The book has not been translated into Greek (so far). For us, of course, this was not a problem, since Melina does not know to read, so even if it’s in Greek, it was me that I would read it. In Greece, I found it on order at Public.
I think it’s a very interesting book and let’s not forget that children understand much better deeper issues through game and stories. I suggest it without doubt!