Monday, December 14, 2009

Meag's Top 4 Lady Loves

Youuuuu guessed it -- it's a post about girl-power picture books!
(And not lesbianism, as Uncle Marshall might suspect.)

I thought, in honor of my first post on my first-ever blog about art and all things illustration, I would highlight some of the books that I've loved since childhood. But today I watched a recent episode of Glee (one of my favorite shows) and was disappointed by its attempt to glamorize women as sex objects in one moment and preach self-respect at them the next. So that's when I decided I'd narrow my post to picture books that empower girls.

First off, The Big One: Eric Kimmel's The Four Gallant Sisters, illustrated by Tatyana Yuditskaya. Disguised as boys, four orphaned sisters become master tradesmen, members of the king's court, saviors, and dragon slayers, right under the suspicious queen mother's nose. Rousing, romantic, gorgeous, and clever. I wanted to be all of these sisters.

Next there's Jane Yolen's retelling of Tam Lin, an old Scottish ballad, illustrated by Charles Mikolaycak. Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Girl is slightly dismayed to hear of boy's imminent murder by hell-bound fairies. I don't want to spoil the ending, but it involves holy water, a smart mouth, and a reeeeeally good grip.

The Paper Bag Princess (Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko) -- a more recent favorite. What fate would be worse than becoming a dragon's lunch? Marrying this girl's fiance. Mama didn't raise no fool!

And finally, everybody's favorite: Heckedy Peg (Audrey & Don Wood)! I saved this one for last because it's about a special kind of Girl Power: Mom Power! This multi-taskin' mama may not have given her children real names, but she sure as heck knows what they want, gosh darnit! Now step off, witch!

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. And let me know what your picks would be!

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