Girls with attitude

So I was right about the ice-cream in Italy. It was amazing! And I mean amazing with a capital A. Sadly though there were just too many flavours for me to sample them all in such a short space of time (sigh).

Penguin_stand_puffin_displayWe were in Bologna in Italy for the children’s book fair for about a week. I hadn’t been before and wasn’t sure what it was going to be like (I did have visions of tiny book sized helter-skelter’s and waltzers before we went, but perhaps not surprisingly I didn’t find any). Instead publishers from all around the world had stands to display their newest and most exciting titles. The Penguin stand had a really colourful display of Puffin picture books in the background and the set used for Goldilocks was on show in a rather large glass case.

Goldilocks_set_in_bologna_3Goldilocks is a new photographic picture book by Lauren Child and Polly Borland and everything seen in the book was specially handmade, from the bear’s clothes to the tiny spoons hanging in the kitchen. We had to put the set together at the fair which was really fun – it reminded me of having a doll’s house! When you think about it though, Goldilocks was really quite a cheeky little girl. But then a lot of the books I’ve read (and fallen in love with) recently feature heroines with serious attitude. And by attitude I don’t mean moody, stroppy girls who stamp their feet if they don’t get their own way, I mean uber-cool feisty chicks with fabulous fashion sense.

Take Sassy B the eco-warrior babe singer/songwriter who is passionately trying to save the environment but still finds time for friends and falling in love. She’s the main character in a new book written by Maggi Gibson – if you like Cathy Cassidy then you’ll love this story. Then there’s the comical Delilah Darling who is desperate to be the star of her school play at any cost.

KittyBut I think my favourite has to be Jas, the daring detective who solves murder mysteries with the help of her awesome friends and a smouldering Italian man in Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe (out in July). Or on second thoughts maybe I prefer Elizabeth, the sophisticated central character in The Luxe (a book for our older readers) by Anna Godbersen. Set in Manhattan in 1899 this book features irresistible boys, dark secrets and some very well dressed girls who all have serious attitude.

It’s a bit like the ice-cream really, too many feisty heroines and too little time to read them all in . . .

Naomi Cartwright
Puffin Rights Assistant