Sunday, April 26, 2009

Riled Up

As I was taking some time for myself this morning, checking in on some of my favorite blogs, I found that my dear friend and fellow Über Thoughtful Mama had written a delightfully helpful and super right-on post about kids’ books, specifically books that capture the strength, intelligence and ingenuity of girls. Okay, maybe it as more about how this world seriously lacks good stories told from female perspectives. (Yes, it's an old story that unfortunately still rings true.) But in typical fashion, my pal vented appropriately and then got her hands dirty, providing an insightful and productive critique and - and this is the part I love - a direction forward. Don't you love that? Yes, indeedy. Rather than essentially repeat exactly what she wrote – since she nailed it dead-on – I urge y’all to hop over to her fabulous site and read for yourself.

Needless to say, I revel in this kind of banter. Yup, I’m riled up and ready for a good hunt. My brilliant friend included a list of books she’s found recently that give strong girls a voice; it’s a fabulous list. And it’s motivated me to A) run to my library this afternoon to check these out for my book-hungry Stella, B) do some more serious research on my own to find more books like these and C) pick through our growing catalogue of rockin’ girls books and share what we’ve found. The funny thing is that I can actually think of a ton of empowering and engaging stories about girls and young women for when Stella is a bit older, but it’s not so easy during this toddler stage. So I’m truly thankful for my friend’s list and am adding to it with yet another list of fabulous books that specifically focus on how and why girls are rad and, as my friend eloquently articulated, simply showcase a story from a girl’s perspective.

We love these Stella books. They totally remind me of old Peanuts cartoons but are told from a girl’s perspective. Stella and her little brother Sam are not only sweet, clever and ridiculously creative, they’re always hanging out in the woods and exploring nature. My sister-in-law gave three of these to us for Stella’s first birthday, and we LOVE them.

I am usually a bit wary of celebrity-driven books. Honestly, I dig Madonna on the dance floor but her children’s books are a bit lacking for my taste. That said, I love this book. Jamie Lee Curtis captures the quirkiness of kids and why they should, in fact, feel good about themselves at ALL times. And she splits the book between a girl and a boy with total fairness.

The Papa and I love this book because the child could be either a girl or boy. And it’s just so sweet. It’s a quiet story about learning to be comfortable with nature, and I love that the child is spending time outside, at night, with her or his Papa. It’s really lovely.

This one is super popular, and we love it. Sure, it delves into how petty and cruel girls can be, but it also shows how being unique trumps conformity. I can tell Stella doesn’t really get all of that yet, but I figure it can’t hurt to start a bit early, right.

Stella and I really love this book. It’s a Native American tale that focuses on how a little girl in her tribe basically saves her community from ruin by communicating with and listening to the spirits of nature. She not only embarks on an exciting adventure, but she single-handedly heals deep wounds with her compassion and intelligence.


ransackedgoods said...

Rad, thanks for adding to the list!

Kathy said...

Great List..Kevin Henkes and this title in particular is one of our faves.