I can’t quite remember exactly when I came across it. It may have been whilst ambling through Chelsea Market on a recent trip to New York. What I do remember is that I was captivated the moment it caught my eye.
Yes I am a lover of books. It’s not hard to get me to pick one up and devour its front and back covers, and maybe even a few internal pages. But this one was different. Before I’d even touched it I knew I had to have it in my life, in my daughter’s life.
“Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls” is perhaps described best by the blurb on its website as “a collection of 100 illustrated stories that celebrate extraordinary women. Real women of the past and the present who have achieved incredible results, despite all odds. Rebel girls whose actions have changed the course of history. “
“Painters, scientists, dancers, chefs, astronauts, jazz singers, pharaohs, boxers, writers, political leaders… from every corner of the globe! It’s a collection of bedtime stories that will inspire young girls (and their mothers, their aunts, their cousins…) to be confident, to dream big, to cultivate their strength.”
From Frida Kahlo to Serena Williams, from Marie Curie to Joan Jett (my daughter’s favourite), their stories are written as wonderfully reinvented fairy tales. The illustrations, done by 60 female artists from around the world, are artworks in themselves, rich and vibrant and sublime. And the stories are short, only one page each. My only criticism is that I’d like more.
The moment I presented the book to my daughter, now 5, she fell in love with it and after much negotiation we settled on 5 stories per night.
This is the kind of book I wish I’d had read to me when I was a child.
It’s a book with the kind of strength and spirit, paralleled by my daughter, that should never be curtailed and only encouraged.
This is the kind of book that I will read to my son to help engender a deep respect for women and girls. So that he learns to identify and empathize with strong female heroes.
The kind of book that I will strategically place in my daughter’s path, a silent message of love and encouragement, when I see internal turmoil on her teenage face, and my words are not welcome.
The kind of book that I will gift to my 12 year old niece in the hope that it becomes a sage companion in moments where she needs quiet assurance and inspiration.
The kind of book that I will turn to when I need a little hit of female power myself.
This book is special. It’s timeless. Its mission to inspire girls to dream big is one that I stand behind with every fibre of my being. A mission expressed best by the authors themselves when they say “We're making the world a better place one Rebel Girl at a time!”
But most significant of all is that it transcends its own pages. As the most funded book ever in crowdfunding history this is a perfect example of the ambition of storytelling, the power of storytelling - to create change, to mobilise a movement, and to put positive momentum into the world.
You can buy the book here: http://bit.ly/2tqnEtB