“Bugga, can I pick a movie?” four-year-old Caroline sweetly coos.
“No! It’s my turn,” argues Dane, her six-year-old big brother.
Honestly, I do not remember whose turn it is, so I try a compromise.
“Let’s see if we can find one that you both like.”
As soon as I utter the words, I know it’s hopeless. We’ve been down this path before and rarely find agreement. Dane wants fighting, dinosaurs, and monsters. Caroline tends more toward princesses and fairies.
The same was true when Dane was four, and Olivia was nine. He wanted action, and she wanted fairies, mermaids, and horses. The phenomenon reappears when they select bedtime stories,
Now that I think about it, 30 years ago the same was true with my son and his little sister.
So I’m going to go out a limb here – “Boys and girls are different.”
There, I said it – to the dismay of absolutely no parent or teacher. Admit it, for the most part, boys and girls play differently and read different books. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, or that this is a good thing. All I’m saying is that they are different. So let’s just stipulate that it’s true.
In last week’s post, I confessed that for years, I carried around a list of Nancy Drew books – those owned by my daughter. Heavens; I didn’t want to buy a duplicate. I remember that back then, it was hard to find books with good female role models. It is a bit easier today. However, princesses still command a distinct edge.
In an earlier post, I explained that Olivia’s Story began as a way to entertain Olivia on long car trips. Since I could recall few girl heroes, I made her the star.
Although girls and boys have differing tastes, I believe they are similar in one aspect – they crave stories about kids like them, with similar interests and tastes. For generations boys have had an edge in this department – just look at the volumes of classics with male protagonists and heroes.
I’m sure you’ll agree that girls deserve heroes that look like them.
In Olivia’s Story: Protector of the Realm, our brave heroine takes on the Nazis and an evil Jinn. Flying off on a dangerous mission, she has only her dog and wits to assist her. She succeeds with a little help from her friends – a confident, resourceful, and brave role model for young girls.
David L Dahl.
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Read more about Olivia’s Story here.