Children’s book of the year: Good night stories for Rebel Girls

I read and review a lot of books every year. I reckon in the region of 100 between novels, manuals and picture books. The book market is growing at an exponential level particularly children’s titles. There’s a book with a very unique interactive content and approach that has particularly struck a chord with me, and that is Good night stories for rebel girls. So much so that I have voted it the London Mums’ children book of the year. This is why…



Rebel Girls is based on a very simple concept but yet so inspiring and topical: it is essentially a collection of 100 concise but punchy takes of extraordinary women. 100 real stories of great women who fought for their rights, careers, talents accompanied by excellent illustrations and written in an easy language.

The story of how this book was created is interesting in its on right. Rebel Girls has become a sensation as the most funded book in crowdfunding history. This means that people believed so much in this project that sponsored it and made it happen. If it works this is actually the best way to be successful.

The author’s website is very useful too and since subscribing (it’s all free), I have already received two free eBooks one of which I really enjoyed reading about the story of astronomer Margherita Hack.

I particularly like the personal journey explained by the two Italian female authors (Yes indeed Italians like me, but I am not biased by the ‘nationality factor’) on their blog.

At the end of 2011 Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo packed all their staff and dreams and flew to California to build their company. Elena had been working as a journalist and Francesca as a stage director and playwright. Working late nights and weekends, they created the first iPad magazine for children in the world, Timbuktu Magazine. I relate so much to these ladies as I also came to London with a similar dream. They are an inspiration to me.


Fast forward to 2016, Elena and Francesca have 12 mobile apps in the Apple App Store, published six paper books in English, French and Italian and even built a toolkit that allows communities to design and build playable spaces.

Their entrepreneurial journey made them understand how inspiring it is for women to grow up surrounded by female role models. It helps us all to be more confident and set bigger goals. They realised that 95% of the books and TV shows they grew up with, lacked girls in prominent positions, so they decided to do change that and that’s how Rebel Girls was born.

Despite being a book that seems aimed at girls, it isn’t. In fact I have read it with my 11 year old son and we have enjoyed being inspired by special women. It is crucial that boys learn to identify and empathise with female heroes as much as male role models. The stories in the book are a great source of inspiration for anyone, male or female, child or adult.

The authors have created fantastic videos and animations challenging traditional stories such as Cinderella. They are fabulous. Take a look at one to get the idea:







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