Some books encourage children to imagine, some books teach children a new skill, and some books inspire children to do amazing things. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is an incredible new book by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo that is bursting with stories of amazing girls and women from all over the world. This is a book that everyone needs to read and I guarantee you will be amazed and inspired every time you pick it up.
There are 100 tales of extraordinary women in Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. Inside you’ll find stories of artists, mountaineers, nurses, activists, sportspeople, writers, scientists, spies and rock stars. There are women that you will have heard of before and others who you’ll read about for the first time. There is such a range of women that there is someone for every girl to relate to. Each double-page spread features a short biography told in the style of a fairy tale alongside a full page portrait that captures the spirit of each heroine. Each of the portraits has been created by a different female artist from around the world so they are all completely different styles.
I love everything about this book! The fairy tale style biographies are the perfect introduction to each of these extraordinary women. The authors have captured exactly what it is that makes these women heroines and they’ve done so in a way that is accessible to children young and old. Each of the biographies really would make great good night stories as you can imagine girls (and boys for that matter) dreaming about the amazing things that they themselves could achieve. Unlike the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, these are real women who have overcome adversity to achieve great things. I love the design of this book, with the double-page spread for each woman. Their name is at the top of the page, along with what they were known for, and their date of birth (and death if applicable) and the country they came from are at the bottom of the page. A quote from each woman is overlaid on the portrait of them, which is a nice little touch. There is a contents page at the start of the book but the book is laid out alphabetically by first name so that you can easily flick back to a bio that you want to read again. The production quality is high too, as it is a beautiful hardback book with ink and paper that you can smell. A feature that I especially love is the space at the back of the book for girls to write their own story and draw their portrait.
I found this book absolutely fascinating and I learned so much. There were women that I had never heard of before, such as Jingu, an exceptionally talented and tough Japanese empress, and Claudia Ruggerini, an Italian partisan who helped to bring down Mussolini. I also learned that as well as being a famous chef Julia Child was a spy in World War Two who cooked cakes to repel sharks.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls needs to be in every home and school library. It’s not just an important book for girls to read but also boys. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo show us how strong, brave, determined and fearless women can be and that girls can achieve amazing things. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.