Not all children’s tales have to adhere to traditional gender roles. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is here to be just that: empowering stories for children that don’t paint pictures of damsels waiting for princes to save them.
“Gender stereotypes permeate every aspect of our culture,” writer Elena Favilli tells The Huffington Post.
The two writers of the book, Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, are a couple who met in Milan and relocated to Los Angeles together. Having both worked in children’s media, the couple became frustrated with the significant lack of empowered feminine characters in children’s stories.
“We constantly urge ourselves to ‘lean in,’ and books on female empowerment proliferate our shelves … but they come too late,” Favilli told Real Simple.
From Frida Kahlo to Serena Williams to the Bronte Sisters, the couple paired with a female illustrator to tell the stories of these amazing women. Their favorite tale, however, is one about Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh history books often forget.
“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.”
Instead of waiting for a man to rescue them, these historical figures have changed the world around them.
“Parents are offered little resources to counter this trend and we want to do something about it,” she said.
The Kickstarter campaign for Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls has less than a month left to raise money, but has already received more than $54,000 in donations, exceeding its $40,000 goal. Favilli and Cavallo say they hope to inspire young women and femmes at an early age in order to motivate them throughout their lives.