Monday, July 13, 2009


I, like my 2 year old daughter, and many other little girl's across the country am a HUGE fan of the Fancy Nancy books by Jane O'Connor. I find them fun and cute and my daughter, who can be a little diva in her own right, adores them for the same silly reason. In our home, we tend to devour Fancy Nancy and other books like it where a wonderfully independent female character refuses to conform and pushes forth her own brand of uniqueness. I recently had the opportunity to review a great picture book, UNIQUE MONIQUE for Curled Up With a Good Kid’s Book. You can see it here:

In it, Monique is tired of being just like everyone else, so like every independent woman should, she takes matters into her own hands and proves just how unique she really is.

This apparently struck a chord with my daughter who, during a recent shopping expedition, thrilled at the chance to look just like Monique! I know, seems more copy cat-like than unique, but her reaction, which came many months after discovering Maria Rousaki’s engaging young feminist, Monique, showed me that the character’s strong-will resonated and stuck with my little one. As she grows and moves from toddlerdom to little girl and then (sob) young lady, I hope Monique’s influence will stay with her. I hope that she, and many other little girls, will stand strong and strive to make their own unique way in this world.

There are many great books out there that I think encourage little ladies to grow up feeling empowered. Books that prove they can make a difference. Here are a few of my favorites:

AMELIA & ELEANOR GO FOR A RIDE by Pam Munoz Ryan & illustrated by Brian Selznick
YOU FORGOT YOUR SKIRT AMELIA BLOOMER! By Shana Corey & Illustrated by Chesley Mclaren
MOSES by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
I COULD DO THAT! By Linda Arms White & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
THE BALLOT BOX BATTLE by Emily Arnold McCully
FANNIE IN THE KITCHEN by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
A IS FOR ABIGAIL by Lynne Cheney & illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

I too, have a few manuscripts that I hope will one day offer their own brand of encouragement for the little ladies. In the meantime, I’m still awaiting “the call” with a contract offer for them. Someday, I anticipate my own books will stand tall alongside those listed above. Of course, when that day comes, I will certainly let you know.


Niki Masse Schoenfeldt