(video viewable on Youtube under “Timbuktu Labs”)
Pause for thought. Obviously the makers of this movie are wanting to promote and sell their own book – but there are some statistics in this video which make startling points. (You may miss the statistics if you can’t see the bottom of the screen, do make sure it isn’t obscured)
The whole point of the video is to demonstrate the hideous lack of positive and active female role models in children’s books. There does seem to be an imbalance.
The solution suggested is a good idea anyhow – a book of real life achievers – in this case, women. But the scope of those real lives is wide and inspiring:
Ann Makosinski (inventor); Aung san Suu Kyi (politician); Grace Hopper (computer scientist); Harriet Taubman (freedom fighter); Nelly Bly (reporter), Xian Zhang (orchestra conductor)…. in all, 100 women who influenced our modern world.
As well as the better known women achievers: Jane Austen, Jane Goodall, Julia Child, Joan Jett, Maria Montessori, Frida Kahlo, Coco Chanel, Florence Nightingale, there are also less famous names and careers for a boxer, cyclist, surfer, trombonist, ballerina, supermodel, rapper, marine biologist…… excellent general knowledge and early careers guidance.
Not only is there a wide scope of life options – but the book makes clear where these women had obstacles such as war or family situations. In other words, it also builds the idea in the young reader that even when life is tough, you should still reach for your best and it is possible to be incredibly resourceful and brave – others have done it – why not you the reader?
The reading age of the book would be for primary school, but by marketing it as a bedtime reader, it can be read by adults to their daughters when they are very young. So they don’t have to have acquired a high level of reading before understanding it.
The book is easily available to buy via good local booksellers:
Title “Good Night stories for Rebel Girls”
by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.
UK ISBN 014198600x
It is hardback, so a little more expensive or also available in Kindle. Amazon has it at prices hardback £16.99 and kindle £9.99, to give an idea of prices. Also on Amazon you can ‘see inside’ and view a few sample pages to understand the reading age.
If you think this is a good book and should be more freely available, think of where you can gift it: not only to young nieces and daughters but also why not buy a copy and donate to a local primary school library? or even to a public library?