Gone are the days of children’s books dominated by male characters! Authors such as Kate Pankhurst (a distant relative of Emmeline Pankhurst), Elena Favilli, and Francesca Cavallo have decided to tell the stories of powerful women who are often excluded from textbooks and historical fiction.
Image courtesy of The Stripey Horse
Pankhurst’s book, titled Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World, details the lives and accomplishments of women such as Anne Frank, Frida Kahlo, and Marie Curie. She has sold over 52,000 copies, although she told The Guardian that she never expected such success:
I didn’t anticipate the interest from parents that was out there, but it’s been really lovely to see people enjoying it. It’s a real discussion point for families – a way in to talking about the stories of these women, and to talking about the broader point of why the book is only about women, if they have been forgotten from history.
Image courtesy of Babble
Modern women are also getting their fair share of the spotlight with Favilli and Cavallo’s Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls book, sharing the stories of Malala Yousafzai and Hillary Clinton to name a few. The book is illustrated by over 60 female artists internationally, and recounts the lives of women who made important advances in the political and social spheres, as well as women who are renowned writers, athletes, and artists.
Like Pankhurst, Favilli and Cavallo did not have high hopes for their book, originally aiming to raise enough money to print 1,000 copies. However, they have since sold over 500,000 copies internationally and currently have a second volume available for pre-order.
“There is a vacuum our books are filling,” Favilli tells The Guardian. “We live in a time when gender stereotyping, and equal rights, and empowering young girls is very important and is happening internationally.”
Other books that focus on females will hit the shelves during the fall, such as Things a Bright Girl Can Do by British author Sally Nichols.
Featured image courtesy of Rebel Girls