Killing time and getting myself a bottle of water at the airport of Bari, waiting for our flight back home, I ended up in the bookstore. I usually do, strolling around, picking up books with pretty covers and inhaling the blissful smell of brand new books. Not so surprisingly, I ended up with something other than water.
I realized something else. This would be perfect for learning Italian.
The cover of ‘Storie della Buona Notte per Bambine Ribelli 2’ caught my eye and without any clue of what I would find inside I started flipping the pages. Every other page has an illustration by a different illustrator, portraying important, smart and kick ass women of the past and the present. Are you kidding me? After looking at every page (hey, I had some time to kill) I realized something else. This would be perfect for learning Italian. It’s a book for children and each story is just one page. This should be doable.
The minimalist in me questioned me for a second, but then agreed. ‘Okay, you really need this’. So I bought it.
The hand lettering on the cover was vaguely familiar to me, so I Googled the title and found that it has been translated in over 25 languages and there are 2 editions. The Dutch version is named ‘Bedtijdverhalen voor Rebelse Meisjes’. (This is the first edition, I could not find the second in Dutch yet). The English one’s named ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ (second edition can be found here.)
It’s really cool to see the completely different styles of illustration and the different approach of each illustrator.
I spent the rest of the waiting time at the gate with Google Translate learning about the tragic fate of Katia Kraft, a French vulcanologist and read a little about Oprah Winfrey. I flipped through the pages finding a couple of Dutch illustrators as well, such as Liekeland and Eline van Dam. It’s really cool to see the completely different styles of illustration and the different approach of each illustrator. It’s really inspiring and not just for the illustrations.
The stories in the book are all about great women – and girls, one hundred of them. I’ve read some reviews and especially parents are crazy about it, saying the kids are so excited to keep on reading. And they’re talking about being a scientist, a geologist or an activist rather than a princess. I say hurray for that! The sky’s the limit. It’s educational, inspiring, well designed and beautifully illustrated. I’ll be giving the Dutch version as a gift to friends with kids, for sure. What a find!
And for all of us grown up kids it’s just as inspiring. I’m trying to read a story a day, but even if I can keep that up, I’ll be enjoying it for ages since I have to translate nearly every word from Italian… I cannot wait until – in a few years – I can actually just read the entire page without Google Translate. Cheers to goals!