Book Review: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

By Jeanne Willis, Illustrated By Isabelle Follath

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy July 5, 2022

Recommended Ages 4 - 9 years

In this compilation of revisited and revamped nursery rhymes, we meet a familiar set of characters with new empowering qualities. You may be familiar with the ingredients; sugar and spice and everything nice, but this book tells of sun and rain and heart and brain. Instead of the traditional recipe for boys (frogs and snails and puppy dog tails), it’s said that boys are made of much the same as little girls, except for a few little things.

A short list of some of the heroines includes little Jade Horner who dreams of space, Jill who fixed Jack's scooter, fearless Miss Muffet, brave Bonnie Shafto, and a doctor who mended Humpty Dumpty. These stories shine with more charm when paired with their inclusive and whimsical illustrations. Paying respects to the old mother goose rhymes while helping to move forward a culture of lifting children to be brave, bold and kind.

For older kids, you can pair this book reading with a compare and contrast activity by bringing out the classic rhymes. Kids may also enjoy acting out the poems or drawing their own versions of them. You can find a copy of What Are Little Girls Made Of at your local library. While you’re there be sure to ask a librarian about NYPL’s program to give away 500,000 children’s books this summer!

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.