Just because stories like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are classics doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a few new fairy tales to remind young girls they don’t need a prince to rescue them—they can rescue themselves.
That’s the idea behind Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, a modern bedtime story collection whose Kickstarter campaign launched yesterday. Creators Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo have both worked in the children’s media industry for five years, and were frustrated by the continuous gender stereotyping that still permeated story narratives.
“We constantly urge ourselves to ‘lean in’ and books on female empowerment proliferate our shelves... but they come too late,” Favilli said in an email. In response to this frustration, they created a collection of stories that features 100 historically important women, from Frida Kahlo to Serena Williams to the Bronte sisters. Each story is accompanied by a full-page portrait, drawn by a famous female illustrator. Their favorite story is one about Hatshepsut, an oft-forgotten female pharaoh.
“She was the first female pharaoh of Egypt long before Cleopatra,” Favilli says. “We feel her story is really exemplary of the many extraordinary women whose achievements often go unnoticed.”
Given the scientific benefits of reading to your child, perhaps there’s no better story to read at night than one that will also empower your daughter. Of course, it’s not only limited to girls.
“Read these stories to your sons,” the creators say on their Kickstarter page. “It is crucial that they learn to identify and empathize also with female heroes! The stories in the book are a great source of inspiration for anyone, male or female, child or adult.”
Clearly, this book hit a nerve. Within 24 hours, they already raised more than half of their fundraising goal. To back this project, or simply learn more about the book, watch the video below and visit their Kickstarter page.