The sun is shining, the birds are chirping…it’s the start of a new week and we have a fab little nugget of inspo for you. Happy Monday!
It’s a wonderful feeling when you see a child read a book from cover to cover by themselves and we know the best way to encourage this is to fill their bookshelves with fun and exciting books to read, but sometimes finding those books, especially titles that empower young girls, can be difficult…especially is she isn’t into unicorns, glitter and fairies!
It’s with this in mind that we have found a selection of our favourite titles for girls that are ready to dive into the world of books on their own…and there’s not a pink pony in sight!
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls broke records as the most-funded original book in crowdfunding history, and has since become a bestseller in 30 languages. Challenging gender stereotypes, Good Night Stories profiles 100 women – scientists, athletes, politicians – who have contributed to public life. It further celebrates women by highlighting the work of the two authors and 60 illustrators, who produced this striking and colourful volume. Written in the style of fairytales, Good Night Stories is not just for bedtime or for girls – it is inspirational for all children. Adult readers can also enjoy it as a sampler offering ideas for further reading. Volume 2 is available here.
Heidi Hecklebeck 10 Book Collection by Wanda Coven
Heidi Heckelbeck has a special secret: she’s a witch! But that doesn’t mean she gets to skip school, so during her time at Brewster Elementary, she enjoys perfectly normal, day-to-day activities, just like any kid. Of course, when the occasion calls for it, she sometimes pulls out her Book of Spells to see if she can give things a little nudge. With fun stories, easy-to-read language, and engaging pictures, this early chapter book series is sure to be a hit.
Violet Makerel’s Outside the Box Set by Anna Branford
Violet Mackerel is a little girl with big ideas and a lot of theories! Whether she’s knitting an unusual project, digging for fossils, feeding ladybugs, or even getting her tonsils out, she has a theory for everything and a can-do, empathetic spirit that helps her turn theory into practice. This box set includes four of Violet’s outside-the-box stories, which are sure to be a hit with children who are ready for early, picture-heavy chapter books.
Amelia Bedelia 10 Book Box Set by Herman Parish
For years children have giggled at literal-minded Amelia Bedelia’s misunderstandings. Now, in this 10-book series, Amelia gets imagined as a young girl whose adventures with family and friends get thrown off by her little slips, whether she’s saving money for a bike, going on a road trip, or adding a four-legged furry family member. Fortunately, good-natured Amelia is always able to straighten things out in the end! The end of each book includes a “two ways to say it” section that provides a guide to the idioms in the story, so it’s a great option for building kids’ repertoire of sayings.
Lotta on Troublemaker Street by Astrid Lindgren
Poor Lotta is having a very bad day. First, she wakes up mad because in her dream her older brother and sister were mean to her. Then, Mother expects her to wear a sweater that “scratches and tickles.” Madder than ever, Lotta decides to run away and find a new place to live. After all, everyone at her house is mean, so she won’t miss her family at all, or will she? Children will giggle as they recognise their own bad days in Lotta’s story. Written by Astrid Lindgren, the fabulous author of Pippi Longstocking, this book shows that there’s an exciting story lurking in even the most ordinary days.
Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew Collection by Carolyn Keene
For girls who aren’t quite ready for the original Nancy Drew books, Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew is the perfect solution. These early chapter books reimagine Nancy as an third grade student solving mysteries around her community. Children will love following along with the mysteries and trying to put together the clues with Nancy, George, and Bess.
Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up and grow up to be brave women. We recommend you watch with wonderful #tedtalk by Caroline Paul.
Literary classics have a bit of a PR problem – while they have stood the test of time because of their brilliant plotting, excellent writing and timeless messages, their longevity can also mean archaic language and a fusty image. If you love the classics, but don’t know how to introduce them to your young readers, Booko can show you how. Here are classic literature ideas for young readers – from babies all the way to young adults.
1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up edited by Julia Eccleshare
Everyone loves a list, and this one is great fun to browse as well as a fantastic reference. These 1001 titles have been chosen by Julia Eccleshare, a writer, reviewer and editor who has worked with children’s literature for almost 40 years. It’s a good overview of the best children’s books from across the ages and around the world, including translated titles. The books are grouped by reading age, and there are reviews of favourite books written by beloved authors including Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume and Philip Pullman. Leave this book lying around and everyone will want a turn flicking through. For those with teen readers, pair it with it’s grown-up cousin, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die edited by Peter Boxall.
Little Miss Shelley: Frankenstein – an Anatomy Primer by Jennifer Adams
The super-cute BabyLit series enables discerning parents to introduce babies to their favourite literary characters! The sturdy board book format is perfect for little hands (and mouths); the artwork is stylish, colourful and fun; and each title matches a classic story to a related concept. The latest titles include Frankenstein (about anatomy) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (about fairies). There’s also Jane Eyre (counting), Jungle Book (animals) and many more.
The Oxford Treasury of Fairy Tales retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Oxford Treasury of Fairy Tales is a classic example of a book gift that can be enjoyed for years to come. It is a bumper edition of twenty stories, ranging from Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, to The Dancing Princesses and Tamlin. Pastel illustrations in jewel tones add a vibrant yet dreamy quality. These beloved stories have been retold in hypnotic, poetic language by the award-winning Geraldine McCaughrean – her style makes these stories seem ancient and fresh all at once. If myths and legends are more your style, Geraldine McCaughrean has also done excellent retellings of Greek Myths and Roman Myths, with illustrations by Emma Chichester-Clark.
Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
Add a superstar comic artist to a beloved series and you get a modern classic ready to engage with new (and old) readers. Raina Telgemeier has amply demonstrated her ability to depict tween/teen relationships in bestselling graphic novels such as Smile and Sisters; The Baby-Sitters Club was a hugely-successful series, now celebrated for its girl-power message and its efforts in highlighting issues such as divorce, chronic illness and racism. This full-colour graphic novel edition of Kristy’s Great Idea is gorgeous to look at, and introduces readers to how the series begins. Books 1-4 are also available as a box set, while the original novels have also been republished.
Burning Maze (The Trials fo Apollo Book 3) by Rick Riordan
Burning Maze is the latest instalment in the Trials of Apollo series, where Apollo finds himself stranded in the body of a teenage New Yorker, as punishment for angering his father Zeus. To return to Olympus, Apollo has to complete five impossible tasks – without access to his godly powers. In Burning Maze, it’s two down, three to go. Rick Riordan has won many fans with his action-packed adventures firmly rooted in Greek / Roman / Egyptian / Norse mythologies. Not only does he achieve the seamless blending of modern fantasy with ancient mythology, he has also updated the deities in witty ways. For other modern updates for middle-grade readers, try Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson.
Hamlet by John Marsden
The challenge in making Classics appeal to teens is how to minimise the daunting reputation of the historical language while letting their gripping plots – full of love, grief, angst – shine. The solution (particularly for Shakespeare’s works) lies in re-imagining these stories in vivid, modern prose. While John Marsden’s terrific version of Hamlet stays close to the original, he views Hamlet as a teenager – young, vulnerable and relatable. Other retellings give fresh perspectives through the eyes of a different / minor character – such as I am Juliet by Jackie French, Ophelia by Lisa Klein, or The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet by Natasha Farrant.
Jarrett Krosoczka gets to use his imagination as his full time job writing children’s books. in this Ted Talk he shares with us 10 new children’s books that are bound to become classics.