By now you’ve certainly seen the turquoise cover of The Daring Book for Girls sparkling on the bookstore feature tables and the bestseller lists and the morning shows and YouTube and the blogs. Whereas The Dangerous Book for Boys was a surprise sensation, Daring Girls hit the market with a clear path to the stars.
It’s the perfect setup for a mediocre book; a "jump on a hot market" opportunity that would sell no matter what its quality. And guess what?
This is an excellent book — surprising in its content, beautiful in form, and full of years’ worth of fun for any girl (I would place the age range at 7+).
I’m sure Collins has great editors and all that, but I credit the book’s magnificence to its two authors, Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. These women worked long and hard through the summer to write this book. I know what it’s like to write a book under a tight deadline — it’s a killer (especially with kids!) — but they did it, and their care and attention shows on every page.
Some of my favorite details:
- How to tie a sari
- Princesses today (with not an Ariel or Belle in sight)
- Cootie Catchers
- Abigail Adams’ letters with John Adams
- Building a campfire
- Rules of the game: basketball (I’m 5′ 1" and have always wanted to play)
Beautiful illustrations throughout by Alexis Seabrook.
Some critics were all ready to pounce with their grumpy sniping and eye-rolling about "the state of parenting today" as reflected by the success of Daring Girls and Dangerous Boys. Gotta rain on someone’s parade, eh? Here’s what I have to say to those jaded editors:
Wipe the sneer off your face, grab a copy of one of these books, and head out into the woods with your favorite boy or girl. If the schedule’s too tight, Central Park will do. Have a little old-fashioned adventure, remember what it was like to be young and open to the world, then go home for some hot chocolate. With marshmallows.