“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” is a children’s book packed with bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present—from Queen Elizabeth I to Serena Williams, Frida Kahlo to Julia Child, Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Amelia Earhart—and illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo realized that 95% of the books and TV shows they grew up with, lacked girls in prominent positions. They did some research and discovered that this didn’t change much over the past 20 years, so they decided to do something about it.
Instead of waiting for their princes to come like the women in typical fairy tales, these game-changing women are influencing the world themselves.
Relocating from Milan, Italy to California, Elena Favilli had been working as a journalist and Francesca Cavallo as a stage director and playwright. Their entrepreneurial journey made them understand how important it is for girls to grow up surrounded by female role models. It helps them to be more confident and set bigger goals.
Favilli and Cavallo, co-founders of Timbuktu Labs and creators of the first iPad magazine for children, made crowdfunding history by attracting more dollars than any other children’s book. It has raised over $1 million from 20,000 backers through its Kickstarter campaign and Indiegogo InDemand book-ordering campaign.
The book, for ages 5 to 8, offers great source of inspiration for anyone, male or female, child or adult.
Favilli told The Huffington Post she felt encouraged to start the project after she wrote an op-ed for The Guardian about being a woman and a tech start-up founder in Silicon Valley and facing abuse online. “I decided that my next project would be something designed to empower young women,” she said.
“Gender stereotypes permeate every aspect of our culture,” Favilli said. “We constantly urge ourselves to ‘lean in’ and books on female empowerment proliferate on our shelves…but they come far too late. Parents are offered little resources to counter this trend and we want to do something about it.”