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Giving girls wings to fly: an extraordinary gift

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For all girls in your life, regardless of age.

For all dads who want to read inspiring stories to their daughters.

For all boys you know to let them see the world from a woman’s perspective.

For every family and every library around the world.

It can’t be denied that this magnificent book, which my daughter was given at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, is possibly the best book of 2017.  We have been reading in it ever since and ordered the Spanish edition as well, so she can read it with the Spanish speaking part of the family.

Well, what can I say about Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls? I honestly can’t help but join the myriad of voices that have already praised this book. It is really worth every minute of your time. Finally there is a beautiful book to consult when looking for female role models from all walks of life. KUDOS to the authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo for creating this gem filled with the stories of 100 ambitious women of all centuries from all around the world,  who had and have accomplished so much in their lifetimes that they serve as perfect role models to girls: Be it powerful politicians such as Evita Perón and Aung San Suu Kyi; scientists, for example Marie Curie; artists and writers such as Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou or Isabel Allende; activists such as Balkissa Chaibou, Rosa Parks and Helen Keller; athletes such as Amna Al Haddad and Simone Biles, and many other mathematicians, architects, poets, queens, war heros, formula one racers, lawyers and so many more. They all inspire young kids to find their voices and show them that it always pays off to follow their dreams.

Every story of the featured women is accompanied with an alluring illustration. We really enjoy that they vary in style, because they add an individual touch and a certain liveliness to the stories. The reason for the different styles can be found in their origins: Sixty different female artists from around the world contributed their art to this project. Our favorite illustration is by Sarah Wilkens of New Zealand and comes with Millo Castro Zaldarriaga’s entry. It just so perfectly portrays the colors and spirit of Cuba.

We love all the women featured in this 1st volume (yes, a second one is just about to be published!), but we especially enjoy reading about the two inspiring Cuban women who are part of the book: Alicia Alonso and Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Half-blind Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso set her mind to be a successful dancer even when she was not able to move for a certain time. Nonetheless, she created a unique style, became very popular and ended up travelling the world with her ballet company. Later in life, she founded what is now known as the Ballet Nacional De Cuba. Little Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who was consistently told that she could not play the drums because it supposedly wasn’t for girls, proved everyone wrong by taking lessons despite people telling her she couldn’t do it, and became a world-famous drummer because she believed that „las chicas también pueden tocar los bongós.“ Yes, girls can also play drums!

Page 202 and 203 of the book provide some space for your own little rebel girl to add her own story and draw her own portrait in the book. A genius as well as inspiring move by the authors, since the girls get to feel like they’ll continue this powerful legacy they just heard about. So automatically they become extraordinary women and are equipped with the right mindset they need to tackle any problem that they may face.  Rebel Girls empowers young girls to understand that they should always shoot for the stars, regardless of the doubts that other people may have. It helps them to develop into confident and strong women, the likes of which we so desperately need more of.

We thoroughly enjoy both the Spanish and the English version of Rebel Girls and want to send a heartfelt ‚thank you‘ to the authors for not only publishing this first volume that brings us so much joy, but for also having us looking forward to a second one. Awesome! We can not wait to see who (besides J. K. Rowling) is part of it!

The English version of this New York Times Bestseller was published by Timbuktu Labs. If, for whatever reason, you do not yet own a copy of this precious publication, I would recommend getting the hardcover edition (ISBN 978-0-9978958-1-0, US $35). It will probably be one of the best Christmas gifts you will ever give.

The text for the Spanish edition Cuentos de Buenas Noches para Niñas Rebeldes was translated by Ariadna Molinari Tato and it is published by Planeta Publishing (ISBN 978-607-07-3979-8, paperback).

To the rebel girls of the world:

Dream bigger

Aim higher

Fight harder

And, when in doubt, remember

You are right.

 

From: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 

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Das Allerwichtigste, oder La cosa más importante

IMG_4084Was ist denn nun das Allerwichtigste? Eine auch von Erwachsenen viel gestellte, aber oft wenig zufriedenstellend beantwortete Frage. Deshalb gehen die Tiere in der modernen Fabel von Antonella Abbatiello diesem außerordentlich  komplizierten Anliegen auf den Grund.

Viele Tiere melden sich in dem (im Original auf italienisch erschienenen Werk) zu Wort und finden ganz unterschiedliche Merkmale relevant. Sie müssen verstehen lernen, dass z.B. starke Zähne für den Biber wichtig sind, aber eine Schildkröte nicht viel mit diesen riesigen Zähnen anfangen könnte.

Was für den Einen richtig und wichtig, ist für den Nächsten schon wieder unpassend. Individuelle Merkmale machen uns zu dem, was wir sind, und jeder kann mit seinen Stärken etwas zur Gemeinschaft beitragen oder anderen helfen. So lernen Kinder schon ganz früh, dass Vielfältigkeit nicht nur die natürlichste Sache der Welt ist, sondern auch etwas großartiges, wertvolles, das es zu erhalten gilt.

Das Allerwichtigste, in der Reihe Edition bi:libri erschienen, bietet sprachlich einen wunderbaren Ausgangspunkt, um auch Kinder aus einem nicht bilingualen Umfeld an andere Sprachen bzw. Mehrsprachigkeit heranzuführen. Wir haben die deutsch-spanische Version, d.h. der Text ist im Buch in eben diesen beiden Sprachen abgedruckt, jedoch sind viele weitere Varianten erhältlich.

Die beiliegende CD bietet die Erzählung auf Deutsch und in den sieben folgenden Sprachen an (egal, für welche zweisprachige Printausgabe man sich entscheidet): Englisch, Spanisch, Französisch, Italienisch, Türkisch, Russisch und Griechisch. Dadurch wird die Fabel nicht nur für sprachinteressierte Familien, sondern vor allem auch für Sprachförderkräfte in Kindergärten interessant.

Die Kinder hören den Tieren sehr gerne zu und freuen sich bei jedem erneuten Umblättern und Seitenaufklappen über die süßen, herzlich-fröhlichen Illustrationen. Diese kommen erfrischend witzig daher, und der Biber mit seinen Zähnen sowie die Schildkröte mit Rüssel sind der Hit! Die herrliche Vertonung steht den Illustrationen in nichts nach (wir lachen uns jedesmal beim kreischenden Vogel schlapp!), und Lori Lorenzen steuert eine eingängige Melodie der Marke Ohrwurm bei.

Sehr gelungen ist auch das zweisprachige, bebilderte Glossar (Kennst Du diese Tiere?/¿Conoces estos animales?) am Ende des Buches, in dem alle Tiere nochmal aufgelistet sind. Die CD bietet auch dazu eine Audiodatei, und so können in einer Art Quiz die Namen der Tiere nochmal wiederholt und nachgesprochen werden.

Erschienen im Hueber Verlag und empfohlen ab 3 Jahren, jedoch schon ab 2 ein sowohl erkenntnisreiches als auch vergnügliches Lese- und Hörerlebnis zum gemeinsamen Erfahren einer Vielzahl von Sprachen.

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Te Quiero, Yo Te Quiero

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This is a super adorable bilingual book for tiny little loved ones. I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak is attractively illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church, and is a perfect means to introduce your baby to unconditional love. It has a sturdy cover and pages that can be wiped clean and are a bit thicker, which is perfect for small hands. Super cute and loved, loved, loved in our household!