Although we do our best to teach Dylan and Xander about sexism, they both come out with some utter nonsense at times. For example, I’ve heard the line “That’s a girl’s colour” far too much.
Similarly, I’ve had to point out to them on several occasions recently that women can be doctors. They seem to have it in their heads that roles like this are exclusive to men.
I can only assume that these out-of-date ideas have been picked up from cartoons, but they make me cringe. Something needed to be done to help get the message across and, happily, a solution has found its way to me.
I was offered Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls as something to enjoy with Amelie. I will, of course, once she’s old enough to understand. In the meantime, however, it struck me as the perfect way of changing the boys’ thinking before it becomes ingrained.
The book came into being as the result of a successful crowdfunding campaign. Indeed, it’s the most-funded original title in the history of crowdfunding and attracted backers from over 70 countries.
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls is the perfect antidote to some more traditional bedtime reading. You won’t find any formulaic tales about princesses among its pages. Instead, there are real-life stories of 100 women who have defied outdated beliefs to achieve great things and change the world as a result.
They include Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo and Jane Austen.
There are representatives from all over the world and every walk of life you can think of. From activists to artists, scientists to surfers and politicians to pirates. Every entry is accompanied by a striking portrait. These have been contributed by 60 female artists.
As the preface explains, it’s important that girls understand both the obstacles that await them and that they can be overcome. I would add that it’s just as vital that boys learn this too. The more people who recognise and understand the better.
This importance is underlined with an infectious enthusiasm in each and every story. The inspirational women have rejected the views of those who’ve said they can’t and proved them wrong.
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls is an accessible and empowering book that I think every child should read.
We’re going to treasure our copy and I very much look forward to reading it with Amelie. It’s important to me that she grows up knowing that she can achieve anything she wants – and that anyone who tells her otherwise isn’t worth her time.
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls is published by Penguin Random House and has an RRP of £17.99.