It's been a while since I did a Mighty Girls book selection round-up and I've had a stack of books sitting in a pile by the d...

Mighty Girl Books

Thursday, January 30, 2020 BookBairn 1 Comments

It's been a while since I did a Mighty Girls book selection round-up and I've had a stack of books sitting in a pile by the desk for so long that I'm feeling guilty that BookBairn hasn't had much a chance to read them as I've been hogging them. So without further ado, here are some new (and old because I want to highlight again how good they are) books starring mighty girls!

Isadora Moon Puts on a Show by Harriet Muncaster

Isadora Moon is one of our favourite characters: she’s half-fairy and half-vampire little girl who has lots of fun adventures with her little pink rabbit sidekick. There are now a whole series of books to choose from about Isadora and her adventures but this one 'Isadora Puts on a Show' is definitely a mighty girl favourite. It tells the story of the time Isadora was asked to participate in the vampire show and she struggles to choose what talent to share. Deep at heart she's a ballerina but vampires don't like ballet and she's scared to be her true self in case they don't like it. When she meets a fellow half-vampire half-human friend, she realises that with a bit of confidence and a friend at your side you can take the stage by storm! These illustrated chapter books are the perfect first read aloud for preschoolers who will love Isadora’s adventurous spirit and quiet playfulness. The illustrations are a mix of black, white and shades of pink and are so engaging they really bring the characters to life. But basically for any little readers ready for a longer adventure these books are just so fun.

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison & Jenny Lovlie

Another amazing chapter book series that we love so much is the new Kitty series. Kitty is awesome: she’s a superhero girl with cat-like powers and the ability to speak to animals! She’s a mighty little girl who helps others, solves mysteries and is full of compassion. BookBairn just loves them - and we can't wait for two new releases later this year! The illustrations are fabulous and the colour palette of black and orange is so striking. A brilliant new series for any mighty little girl reader!

Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights by Steven Lenton

This story is a lot more than just an amusing title! It’s one of our all-time favourite books and Princess Daisy is a lot more than your regular princess. She uses the evidence of all the strange and frightening things that are happening in her town to conclude that they have a dragon problem. So her father, the king, sends away for some knights to slay the dragon. But these knights “are twits, it’s plain to see” at least to Daisy it’s plain to see! But Daisy’s father says she must stay safe in her tower. The knights, the nincompoops that they are, fail in various ways but there is a fourth knight, a strange knight - with no armour and riding a cow. But it turns out that the dragon is just a baby - all she wanted was some milk, a cuddle and a book. Daisy, it turns out, is much better at soothing dragons than the nincompoop knights. But of course, Daisy and the Dragon and the knights all live happily ever after. The rhymes are perfect for reading aloud and they roll off the tongue so well. It also has great fun illustrations that bring the story to life with little extras and humour beyond the words of the story - and a little hidden snail on many pages! And from this story comes one of my all time favourite picture book quotes:

Girls are clever, tough and bold 
And brave and strong and true
We’re just as good as boys, you know
We can be heroes too!

Such an empowering message of a princess who is a bit mightier than some of the old-fashioned ones.

Chicks Rule! by Sudipta Bardhan Quallen & Renee Kurilla

Written in the most wonderful rhyme and packed full of humour and fun, l love reading this one aloud! From Maker Chick to Baker Chick to Soccer Chick and Rocker Chick, all the chicks in town are horrified by and standing up to the “No Chicks Allowed” rule! Nerdy Chick isn’t standing for this senseless rule and won’t let it stand in their way to achieving her dreams of launching a rocket into space! She turns to her fellow chicks for help. And together they lift each other and prove once and for all that chicks are truly out of this world! The illustrations aren’t the kind that I’m usually drawn to but we love the bright colours and cartoon/comic style. I am totally won over by them! Showing you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And you shouldn’t judge a Chick by her feathers! I cannot say how much love I have for this book! 

Billy and the Beast / Billy and the Dragon by Nadia Shireen

This is a book we have been raving about since we first read it. When a terrible beast starts roaming the forest in search of tiny creatures to make a big bowl of monster soup, Billy and her Fatcat cannot let him get away with it. He's got boil in a bag bunnies, spicy mice and grated hedgehog all on his list but can Billy outwit this ferocious beast and save the inhabitants of the forest? And in the sequel, Billy and the Dragon, Billy must rescue Fatcat from the clutches of a dragon, but perhaps all isn't quite what it seems! Packed full of humour, fun illustrations and a heroine who stashes doughnuts in her hair for emergencies these are brilliant new fables that will empower as well as make you giggle. And BookBairn loves them!

The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale & LeUyen Pham

This is a book that we borrowed from the library and enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy for BookBairn and I'm sure we will be going back for the sequels in this series too. Stopping monsters is no job for a prim and perfect princess in pink, even if that is how everyone expects a princess to behave. So when trouble calls in her kingdom, Princess Magnolia transforms into her alter ego and confronts the monsters as The Princess in Black. All the time keeping up the pretence of her pretty in pinkness for the subjects of her kingdom. I like the way this turns the princess genre on it's head and gives her a superhero type quality with her secret identity. This is a highly illustrated chapter book to so there is lots in the illustrations to deepen children's understanding of the story as well as keep them focussed whilst you read the slightly longer chapters aloud. It's not too long though - we still usually read it in one or two sittings! A lovely one for a mighty girl princess.

Molly Rogers to the Rescue by Cornelia Funke

You may have come across Molly Rogers Pirate Girl in picture book form so for little readers who already love the character this early chapter book is a little gem of a book to continue the adventure. In this new story, Molly Rogers comes to the rescue of the beautiful Monkey Skull Island which is under attack from Captain Firebeard. Molly way be small, but she's out to show just how smart and fierce she is and to teach old Captain Firebeard a lesson. Packed full of fantastic illustrations that are dripping with detail and humour, this is such a great little chapter book for young readers to dip their toe into slightly longer reading sessions, or for helping them to recall previous events over multiple sessions. Molly is a super character to enjoy too - it's not often you see such a mighty girl pirate and I love that she is leading the way for mighty girls on the high seas! 

Cannonball Coralie and the Lion by Grace Easton

This is such an important message for young readers about standing up for yourself! Coralie longs to join the circus to be with her new friend, Lion, but the Man in the Big Hat says her tricks (which in actual fact are mighty impressive) aren't good enough. The only opportunity he will give her is as the human cannonball! And when she performs that to standing ovation from the crowd, the Man in the Big Hat only has criticism for her and tries to send her packing. However, with Lion and the rest of the circus on her side, Coralie learns that the power of friendship is the biggest prize of all. The illustrations in this book are just fabulous and will have little readers gasping in awe at the feats that Coralie can perform. The characters, with the exception of the Man in the Black Hat, are warm and friendly and welcome young readers into the story. You could say that this is a very early feminist picture book about the fight against the patriarchy, or you could just take it at face value and enjoy the fun story and colourful cast of characters. But either way it's a wonderful read for mighty girls.

The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

Erin is fascinated by the legend of Black Rock; she knows that it is huge and dark and spiky, and is said to destroy any boats that come near it! But are those tales really true? Erin is determined to find out, so sneaks aboard her mother's fishing boat and embarks on an adventure towards the Black Rock.  When she falls overboard, she soon discovers that though huge, dark and spiky, Black Rock also has a gentler side. And much more beneath it's surface. The illustrations in this book are truly spectacular and I love the mature graphic style that is more reminiscent of graphic novels than picture books, lending even more gravitas to the story. With a gentle environmental message, and a mighty girl at the centre (as well as a mother who is a fisherwoman - not a profession you usually see role modelled by women) this is a perfect might girl read that will utterly enchant.

The Dinosaur Department Store by Lily Murray & Richard Merritt

Eilza Jane is like most newly-turned four-year-olds, she wants a pet for her birthday. But no ordinary pet will do for this feisty heroine. She wants a dinosaur! So her parents lovingly take her to the Dinosaur Department Store to search out the perfect prehistoric pet to bring home. Except Eliza Jane sneakily has other ideas. If little ones carefully watch the illustrations as this romping rhyming unfolds, they will notice what Eliza is up to! In fact, there's even a clue on the cover. As I just mentioned the illustrations in this book are absolutely fabulous: vibrant, colourful and full of a whole cast of hilarious dinosaurs too. And the rhymes make it a joy to read aloud. And Eliza Jane isn't a character to mess with! Such a fun book!

The Princess and the Shoe by Caryl Hart & Sarah Warburton

The latest in this series (I did not know there was a whole series and am heading straight over to my library catalogue to request them all!), princesses certainly don't need rescuing! Princess Jasmine, isn't really a perfect in pink sort of princess. In fact, she can't wait to prove to her parents and the kingdom that there's more to princesses than pretty dresses and waiting around for a prince! She wants to run in the kingdom Cross Country Race, but it's the same day as her big birthday ball! Can she run fast enough to get back in time to do both?! Maybe with the help of a fairy godmother and some new shoes (you see which fairytale this one is based on) she can do it. Or maybe her fairy godmother has a trick up her sleeves just to make sure that Jasmine really believes in herself and that is magic enough? This rhyming story is joyful to read aloud and such a fun twist on a traditional Cinderella story. BookBairn loves this one and will be delighted to learn that there's a whole series of mighty girl princess books to try!

Fearless Mirabelle by Katie Haworth & Nila Aye

Mighty girl power comes in all shapes in sizes! Mirabelle and Meg are twins, and though they look identical (except for different coloured dresses to prevent readers muddling the two up), they are absolutely not the same! Their mother and father are famous acrobats and while Mirabelle loves being topsy turvy and upside down, continuing the family legacy, Meg quietly forges her own path. Meg is afraid of heights and therefore doomed never to be an acrobat, but is Mirabelle as fearless as she seems? And perhaps it takes more than a bit of topsy turvy antics to put on a true performance? A lovely story about celebrating sisters, differences but also the quieter introverted character: this is a lovely story for BookBairn who is no acrobat but more of a bookish sort. I love the crips primary coloured colour palette and find this story truly enchanting!

Mighty Min by Melissa Castrillon

Ok, so let's start by saying that the illustrations in this book are like no-other. The layering of all the flora and fauna in hues to green, yellow and orange is a visual feast. It's a world your little readers will certainly want to explore. And why not explore it with Min: a very tiny girl embarking on a huge adventure! Inviting your readers to step inside Min's magical and miniature world to find out that to be tiny in a world much bigger than you, you absolutely have to be mighty! And Min is about to embark on a very big adventure. I just love everything about the way this story has been crafted. It's gentle and mighty, beautiful and strong and will leave a lasting impression on young readers.

I hope you found some mighty reading material for your bairns there and if you are looking for more mighty girl reads, check out my Amazon shop and click on the section for Little Feminist Stories / Mighty Girl Reads section.

Mighty Reading!
Kim and the bairns x

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1 comment:

  1. I just love Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights. Crazy title but great book and Chicks Rule! is one of my favourites. I love the names of all the chicks. Great fun and I’m sure the other books mentioned here are fab too.