A couple of months ago, I received an email from Queen Girl Publications. They’d got in touch to see if I would like to get my hands on one of their new books*, with them specialising in stories of real women turned into fairy tales. As a teacher of 3 and 4-year-old little girls, I absolutely jumped at the chance. I knew that my class would love to hear stories like this.
Queen Girl Publications are quite new to the book writing scene. They found that the female characters in books that they read to their daughters were often stereotyped and one-dimensional. Therefore the founders decided to start writing books for girls. They wanted to encourage passion, determination, drive and self-confidence into their daughters and girls who would read their books. QGB were eager for girls to see dreams as being possible, doable and totally realistic.
This train of thought really struck a chord with me. As an educator, this is something I am totally passionate about. I am eager to encourage the girls I teach that anything is possible and that if they work hard then they can do whatever they want to in their lives. Therefore, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a book from this company and share it with my class! I was told I would receive ‘Bessie, Queen of the Sky’. This fairytale was inspired by the story of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to hold a pilot’s license in the world.
So this was the book in print:
As you can see, it’s a square-shaped book, and a great size. I thought that it was perfect for little hands to hold and to be able to turn the pages. From the front cover, you can just tell that the pictures inside are going to be lovely. The book felt like it was great quality too, with a sturdy hard-back cover.
And for those eagle-eyed of you, you might have spotted this badge. It is the ‘one for one model’, which means for every book purchased, another will be donated to organisations that empower girls and fight illiteracy. Therefore, it is given to a child who may be struggling to dream. I think this is an amazing idea, and a really lovely thing for the company to do to continue their aim.
This is what you see when you open the book.
I thought this was a really lovely dedication and a nice quote to start off the book.
Just like fairy tales you are used to reading, it starts off with ‘once upon a time…’ and introduces the main characters. As you can see, the beautiful pictures continue from the front cover and throughout the book.
Early on in the book, it tackles the gender stereotypes that girls may face and the opposition for doing something that is against what is seen to be the norm.
I won’t share too much of the book, to avoid spoiling it for any of you wanting to read it. These are just a few of my favourite pages from the rest of the book, filled with beautiful illustrations, lovely quotes, and feelings of happiness.
Here the book shows the lady who inspired the story, Bessie Coleman. I think it is an important element of the book, showing it’s readers that the story was actually inspired by a real person.
Here is the blurb for a general overview of the story.
After reading this story, it put a really big smile on my face. It absolutely didn’t fail to disappoint, and talked about lots of things I try to instill into my girls such as working hard, not giving up, and dreaming big. It was simple to read and when I shared it with my class they understood and really enjoyed the story. They even asked if they could look at it individually after we had shared it on the carpet which showed that they were fans too! Whilst my girls are 3 and 4, I’m sure older girls would enjoy this story too and the message behind it.
The only thing I will add is that I wonder if there is a company who will take a similar slant but with boys books? Whilst I obviously think it is important for girls to feel inspired, I think it is important for boys too to feel the same. Do you know any book companies that do this? If you do, make sure you share them with me in the comments!
As I mentioned at the start of the post, Queen Girl Publications are relatively new to launch, so this is the only book you are able to get your hands on currently at the moment. However, they have two new books due to be released soon:
Isadora, the Rebel Queen
Inspired by the story of Isadora Duncan, a ballerina who danced away from rigid ballet technique towards what she perceived as natural movement. Influenced by the sea, she started dancing like no one ever did before, imitating the waves of the sea with her arms and feet – She defied conventionalist minds by creating what today we refer to as Modern Dance or “Barefoot Style.”
Savi, Queen of Education
Inspired by the story of Savitribhai Phule, a woman poet, an educationalist and a social reformer, Savi was one of the earliest crusaders of education for girls in India. She defied all odds to become the first female teacher at the first women’s school founded by her and her family.
Fancy winning a copy of ‘Bessie Queen of the Sky’ for yourself? QGB have very kindly donated a story for me to give to one of my readers. Check out my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for information on how you can get your hands on a copy of this fab book!
So what do you think of this book? Do you like the idea behind it? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time…
* I was sent this book for free to review. However all opinions are my own and I would never recommend something I didn’t love myself!