Today my blog is one of the stops on MotherTalk.com's Blog Tour for The Daring Book for Girls by MotherTalk founders Andrea J. Buchanan & Miriam Peskowitz.
The Daring Book for Girls; Andrea J. Buchanan & Miriam Peskowitz; ISBN 978-0-06-147257-2, HarperCollins Publishers (October 30, 2007); hardcover; 280 pp.
Four words can easily sum up how I feel about The Daring Book for Girls:
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
Now let me take you back to the day when I received it in the mail. I opened the package and saw what looked like an old school textbook: uber-retro from the electric blue hardcover to the throwback font.
And then I noticed the glitter, and right then I knew this was no ordinary “Here’s what to do on a rainy afternoon with your little girl” book.
I opened it up to find even more of the retro style through font choice and drawings, which I just loved. It transported me right back to my childhood, surely one of the book’s goals, and that was before I even got to reading all the good stuff inside.
The Daring Book for Girls is meant to be a manual full of the things that young girls should know; it's set up in quick, easy to read chapters, perfect for you or the young girl in your life to pick up whenever the mood strikes and always find something interesting.
Now lest you think we’re talking about how to press flowers, making knots and stitches, how to throw a good slumber party (complete with Bloody Mary and Light as a Feather!), and putting your hair up with a pencil--although all of these are in the book too--some other subjects include: building a campfire, tree swings, how to negotiate a salary, watercolor painting, and finance (interest, stocks, and bonds).
For the athletically-inclined, there are sections on hiking, yoga, paddling a canoe, softball, roller skating, bowling, karate, climbing, and hopscotch from around the world. For the more smartypants-inclined, there are math tricks, words to impress, Greek and Latin root words, and a list of "books that will change your life."
Interspersed throughout this trip down memory lane are history lessons ("What is the Bill of Rights?") and stories of famous and notable women (among which are Amelia Earhart, Joan of Arc, and a five part series on Queens of the Ancient World), which make this book a fairly complete reference book full of information as well as things to do.
The Daring Book for Girls is 280 pages of fun--a one-stop guide of what the young girl in your life needs to know and how you can teach her.
I have to admit that at first I felt a little guilty getting this book to review when I don’t have any daughters (yet, hopefully), but I quickly realized that's not a prerequisite to enjoying it. This is a great book even for those of who simply want to take a walk through more innocent times, to remember what it felt like to be out on the corner playing Chinese Jump Rope or doing cartwheels with the neighborhood kids.
And if you don’t remember the words to some of those handclap game ditties? You just might find them here. "Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, all dressed in black, black, black...."
Oh, and some of us might even still find the section on boys particularly useful.
And so, with my first ever 5 espresso cups out of 5 rating, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone with a special little girl around, who wants a great reference book of what a young girl’s childhood should be about, and/or who would simply love to reminisce with the help of Buchanan and Peskowitz.
It is so comforting to know that all of the silly, innocent fun that I experienced as a child isn't gone forever; indeed it's in this book.
The awesome memories that surfaced while looking through this book, such as:
- endless games of hopscotch, jump rope (Chinese and regular), and handclap games I played with my cousins and the neighborhood kids;
- what it was like when I first started to seek out books to read on my own;
- building forts in the living room with the couch cushions and lots of blankets;
- all of the paintings, drawings, and other art projects that helped pass many rainy days;
- playing football on the baseball field in the winter snow;
- exploring in the woods and picking up anything that struck my fancy from arrowheads to pretty rocks to blueberries.
Those *were* the days.