A publishing sensation in the States has Tuscan roots. One of the creators of the children’s book, “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls,” is a Tuscan native, Elena Favilli from the province of Arezzo. Together with Francesca Cavallo from Puglia, she founded the startup Timbuktu Lab, specializing in children’s editions, in California.
A crowdfunding drive using the Kickstarter platform was organized to raid the funds necessary –$40,000 — to put together 100 tales of extraordinary women and pay for artist illustrations and an initial print run of 1,000 copies. The literary protagonists range from Frida Kahlo to Serena Williams, as well as Queen Elizabeth I.
Favilli and Cavallo pointed out that, according to a Florida State University study, only 30% of children’s books published have a female protagonist. The same ratio is true when the characters portrayed are animals. “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls,” addresses the issue, focusing on 100% on women heroines.
The Kickstarter campaign exceeded the publishers’ expectations: $675,000 poured in, which will be used to print additional copies, donate copies to non-profits and organize a seminar on female leadership in Ruanda. Favilla and Cavallo have been working together since 2012, when they founded Timbuktu magazine, an I pad publication for children.