Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Book Review: The Daring Book for Girls

Note: Following is my first book review for Mother Talk, and I’m so very happy they’ve given me the opportunity. If you haven’t been there, please check it out -- but not until after you’ve read my riveting review. Thanks.

As the mother of a 12-year-old daughter, and a once-and-former girl myself, I was really excited to have the chance to review “The Daring Book for Girls,” by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. I mean, just look at it -- swirly, glittery letters, a girls-only vibe -- what’s not to love? Ah, but you know what they say about a book and it’s cover -- never the two shall part -- no, wait, that’s not it. Anyway, luckily for me the inside lived up to what the outside promised, and then some.

This is one of my favorite kinds of book, really -- one that you don’t read from beginning to end, but rather pick up, let fall open, and dive right in. The look of it definitely took me back to my own girlhood -- with pages of text and illustrations more reminiscent of those old encyclopedias we used to have in the school library than the glossy, graphic-heavy reference books of today.

But it's much more than interesting to look at. The Daring Book for Girls is a compendium of all things fascinating, mysterious, seemingly old and surprisingly new for girls of all ages. Here’s a random sampling of the contents:

~Making a Willow Whistle
~Women Spies
~Japanese T-Shirt Folding
~Rules of the Game: Softball
~Putting Your Hair Up With a Pencil
~Pressing Flowers
~Finance: Interest, Stocks, and Bonds
~Five Karate Moves
~Friendship Bracelets

~Periodic Table of the Elements

This is not your mother’s (or even my own) kind of girlhood -- it’s upgraded, empowered, and vastly improved. This could easily have been a traditional manual of traditional (read: stereotypical) girl stuff -- the daisy chains, the handclap games, the Chinese jump rope (all in there, by the way). But mix in a healthy dose of history, science, economics, and athletic prowess, and -- voila! -- the modern girls guide to just about everything.

At my house, we gave this book the ultimate test -- a middle school girls’ sleepover. The verdict? Well, there was a lot of giggling, so that has to be good.

And my daughter’s summation? “It’s fabulous, I love it.” Well said. She suggests, also, that it should be used as a textbook in school. And I can’t argue with her on that one.

Because what’s more practical, really, than knowing what goes in a good toolbox?

Buy it: @ Amazon.com

To see the authors on the Today show, click here.


Kelly O said...

I'm thrilled to see a review of this book. I was suspicious of it and the boy version, but they both look much cooler than they could have been.

(Also, I tagged you for a meme!)

Christine said...

There's a boy version? These authors are way cool.

Great review lighthearted, thorough, entertaining.

Kelly said...

I bought this book for my niece's 11th birthday, giving it to her today. We'll see how see likes it. I know I would have loved it when I was a kid.

If you haven't checked out the dog's version of this book, you must...it is hilarious!