When I first saw The Dangerous Book for Boys I was very excited to see that finally perhaps people were seeing the need for kids to unplug from their video games, iPods, and television sets and get outdoors and do some adventuring. If the ground breaking book Last Child in the Woods was a wake up call to parents then The Dangerous Book for Boys was the instruction manual for kids. It consisted of hundreds of activities, crafts, and games that generations past enjoyed…building forts…recreating battles, tying knots, and having an incredible amount of fun. It serves as a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age.
I did not have an issue with the actual name of the book and the reference to boys. I was a tomboy and I did all the stuff the boys did and never thought twice about it but I am still happy to see that a book specifically for girls has been released, The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz. The back of the hard bound book is inscribed with the following: “For every girl with an independent spirit and a nose for trouble, here is the no-boys-allowed guide to adventure.” And it is brilliant. :) If I had this book when I was a young girl I might have forgotten what the indoors looked like. In fact even as I read the book a few weeks ago I couldn’t help but drag out my backpacking and camping books and start planning for spring….the spirit is infectious. My daughter is only 3 right now but I am positive that this book will be treasured in years to come. And it would make a wonderful gift for some of the older girls, tweens, and even teenagers in my life.
The intro of the book read like a peek into my own childhood….a time when electronics consisted of record and cassette players and there was no concern for things like cell phones, texting your friends, emails, and instant messages. We walked to school, we rode banana-seat bikes, we roller skated, and spent countless hours playing hopscotch or tetherball. Well, The Daring book for Girls brings some of that to the current generation of girls. It is a book of possibilities and ideas for filling days with adventure, imagination, and fun. It teaches everything from the basic concepts of basketball, hopscotch, and Marco Polo to more instructional things like how to press flowers, put your hair up with a pencil, use impressive words like diaphanous, and administer first aid. There are also numerous historical things to learn such as the history of writing, Joan of Arc, women scientists and inventors, Cleopatra, and Greek and Latin word roots.
Some of my favorites sections of the book were how to play hearts and gin, making a girl’s toolbox, five karate moves, tying a bandana, how to climb, how to paddle a canoe, making a tree swing, changing a tire, yoga, and handclap games. By the time I got to the end of the book I was ready to get out and get adventuring! This book really is precious and deserves a spot on every girl’s bookshelf.
[tags]daring book for girls, blog tour, last child in the woods, dangerous book for boys, gift[/tags]
Monday, November 26th, 2007