December 01, 2007

A Book that Speaks Volumes for Mothers and Daughters

As part of the MotherTalk Book Tour, Jenna and I reviewed Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz's The Daring Book for Girls. Interesting that the first reaction of Jenna, whose ten years old, was that the cover and type looked old fashioned. At first she didn't want to read it because of that--a fact I'm not so proud of. After all, a little old fashioned culture is an inoculation against the Disney monopoly.

Far from old and boring, The Daring Book for Girls is an incredible guide for parents and children to explore together -- to find new adventures, little-known facts. Each chapter presented something we didn't know before, and that's a tall order for a book. Especially with two different age groups reading it.

From how to play gin to how to do a cartwheel to French terms of endearment -- Ma puce, or "my flea" for example -- you'll find just about everything a curious mind and body needs in this encyclopedia of coolness. Periodic table of the elements? Check. How to make friendship bracelets? Check. Games for slumber parties? Check. Women Explorers and a timeline for their accomplishments? Check. Making a flat scooter? Check. Sesquepedalian words? Check. Math tricks? Check. History of Women Olympics firsts? Check.

And a LOT more. For a taste of how much more, visit the book's website or watch the authors on The Today Show.

My favorite parts of the books were the learning activities and the games. I knew precisely NONE of the Words to Impress included in the book. I can now say, "Quit that echolalia!" and mean it! (Echolalia means repeating or echoing a person's speech, often in a pathological way.)

The back of the book best encapsulates the purpose of the book:

For every girl with an independent spirit and a nose for trouble, here is the no-boys-allowed guide to adventure.

I'd also add:

And... For every mom who wants to share
with her daughter
the coolest ways
to be active, be smart,
and have fun.

The Daring Book is a hit at our house. (And if you're looking for a word to impress on your next job interview, call me first).