It’s never too early to start teaching young girls (and boys) that they have the power to do whatever they want to. Luckily, girls are no longer consigned to the role of helpless princess in the books available for them to enjoy. I’m going to share with you some of the celebratory and stereotype-busting titles I’ve been sent in recent months – just in time to enjoy on International Women’s Day on the 8th March.
‘Girls Can Do Anything’ by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Ali Pye (Scholastic)
This glorious book is a celebration of being able to look, behave and feel however you want to – a message equally applicable to boys as girls. Whether you love science and messes, or being neat and tidy, love art or want to explore, anything is possible if only you try.
Hart’s rhyming text is brilliantly paired with Pye’s illustrations which just zing off the page, so packed full of energy and excitement are they. I also enjoyed the gallery of real-life female pioneers towards the end of the book, giving children someone to aspire to. Such a fantastic title to give to little a ones as a gift.
‘Captain Sparklebeard’ by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Sam Lloyd (Egmont)
I am absolutely delighted to see a new pirate book which features a girl as a pirate. Such titles are few and far between! Bring on Captain Sparklebeard!
Poor old Peg is forced to do chores all day by her wicked Step-Great-Grand Auntie. One day, whilst taking the cat for a walk, Peg spots a pirate ship on the hunt for some brave new crew members. Peg immediately volunteers, but is laughed at by Captain Hairy-Ears for not having a beard and being able to read. Determined to prove the Captain wrong, Peg was about putting a plan into motion which will see her sail the Seven Seas in a ship made from books.
I loved, loved, loved this story! Not only did it prove that girls can do absolutely anything they want to – including being beardy pirates and hunting for treasure – but it also irrefutably proved that books contain knowledge and knowledge is power. Sam Lloyd’s hilarious, bold illustrations are a delight and full of witty details.
‘Amazing Women Sticker Scenes’ from Egmont Publishing.
This title is a little different to the others as it encourages its users to learn about amazing women from the past and present in sticker book form. With over 200 stickers, readers aged five and up will love learning about role models such as Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Goodall to name but a few.
I gave this to two rather fabulous girls aged nine and five to test out and they gave some very positive feedback. The eldest commented on how the style of the stickers matched the time period the women were from. She also said she learnt a lot about the women including as there were some she hasn’t heard of before. The youngest actually took the book into school to share with her class, she loved it so much! You can’t get much better than that.
Sharing any one of these books would be a brilliant way to celebrate international women’s day on the 8th of March.
*Many thanks to Egmont Publishing and Scholastic for sending me these titles to review*