This review is part of a MotherTalk blog tour
I agreed to review The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz with some trepidation. I had loved the content of The Dangerous Book for Boys, but really disliked the title, as I didn’t think it should have been published as a boys-only book. I was curious to see how this new book would deal with “boy” and “girl” things, and if it would be published as a companion or supplement to The Dangerous Book for Boys, or if it would stand on its own merits.
After reading and kid-testing The Daring Book for Girls, I can say that this book stands up for itself. The balance of girly-girl to non is great, and since there is such a balance it should please most people. Even though it’s called the Daring book for girls, there is great information in here for all kids! There is a real focus on girls – camp songs & hand-claps remembered from girl-hood, great queens, real life princesses, etc – but the actual topics are interesting and exciting if you’re a girly girl, a tomboy, a boy, an adult, or some combination of those!
This past Thanksgiving, my friends came over for dessert. bringing their 2 sons. My three girls and their two boys spent a lot of time looking through both books They all especially loved the idea of mixing power tools and delicate flowers to make a flower press (page 18, DBfG). They asked if we could work together through the projects in The Daring Book for Girls this summer. I think we’re going to have to do projects sooner than that. There are quite a few things burning their way into our homeschool curriculum!
I tried live-blogging my daughters as they looked through The Daring Book for Girls, but it didn’t look the way it sounded. The sounds each time we open the book are “wow!” and “I didn’t see that before!” and “when can we do that?” or “can you read me this?” My reluctant reader said, “why didn’t you bring home more books like this?” and then kidnapped the book. I wrenched it from her hands eventually, but not before she had told me all about the different animal tracks she found and that we needed to read the spy section together. She’s right – it’s the best spy section I’ve seen!
There are so many things in The Daring Book for Girls that I now remember from camp or friends or parts of my childhood, but there is no way I would have remembered them otherwise. How cool is it to have directions for camping and the basic sit-upon, women pirates, how to build a scooter, daisy-crowns, and the instructions for net-ball all in one book? My only minor complaint is that there isn’t an index. There’s a fabulous Table of Contents, so we’re OK.
BG, my 9 1/2 year old has used the Palm Reading information in the book to open a consultation business for penny palm readings, and she has signs all over the house. If you look at the image from our book on the right, you’ll see the beginnings of the bookmarks for everything we have to read or do. They’ve since been expanded. I was told that the girls are going to earn the badges from the back of the book, and they have a plan to post the badges they’ve won online and on the wall. They have a bunch of these types of plans and ideas from this book. PLUS, it’s given them new hand-claps so I don’t have to keep listening to the same one over and over and over. That’s worth the money right there!
If you need any more convincing that this is a wonderful book, make sure you listen to the Motherhood Uncenscored Blog Talk Radio episode with Andi and Miriam as they talk about their childhoods, the different ways they came up with ideas for the book, as well as the things they had to leave out. (sob, zip-lines, sob).
I know that The Daring Book for Girls and Miriam and Andi been all over the media (is my brush with fame that I’ve emailed with people who’ve been on the Today Show?), but please believe me when I say that this book is the perfect book for girls, moms, aunts, grandmothers, and just about everyone on your holiday list. It’s definitely on our holiday shopping list – no way are we parting with our review copy! As an extra bonus, it’s easy to wrap! So go pick up a half-dozen copies of The Daring Book for Girls!