I’m a manly man. I like guy stuff. I have three sons who are also into guy stuff. And I never, ever, ever thought that I would be reviewing a book with “Girl Power” in the title for the second time. But My Girl Power Journal isn’t just any book; it’s the latest DC-themed gem from Downtown Bookworks, and it’s chock full of the wit, charm, and classic comics artwork that defines the company.
What is “Girl Power?”
“Girl Power,” at least according to this book, is a simple notion: that girls have value, and that they have something to offer—that they especially have more to offer than they may think they do. Some of you may take that as a politically-charged premise, but I don’t think it should be, and author Sarah Parvis makes this about as apolitical as anyone could. Wherever you land on the political spectrum, if you have a little girl in your life that you care about, this book would make a great gift. Almost every kid I’ve ever known could benefit from an occasional reminder of their worth; and, girls in particular often need to be reminded that their worth is independent of their relationship to boys. Parvis never calls out this independence explicitly, but the implication is obvious enough. She avoids the potentially thorny ground of telling girls what they don’t need, and instead presents a lot of attractive alternatives.
Of course, this is a journal (of sorts), so a lot of the “presentation” is actually prompting. There are coloring pages, whimsical hypotheticals, and lots more. Like all of Downtown’s DC stuff, there’s also plenty of DC Universe indoctrination—your little gal will have a good foundation for Batgirl, Ivy, Katana, Bumblebee and lots more by the time she’s done working her way through the book. But theses connections are perhaps even sweeter here than in any of Downtown’s other offerings, because they’re quite personal. There are connections drawn between readers and the virtues, skills and power of heroes like Wonder Woman and Supergirl, and the prompts encourage comparison and further exploration. Instead of lauding these heroes’ gifts in the abstract, Parvis holds up a mirror and tells her reader/writers that they have more in common with such exemplars than they think.
Whether you have a daughter, a niece, or you know someone who does, My Girl Power Journal is a great book for stoking imaginations and encouraging girls to reach higher than they think they can. It’s also a great introduction to many of DC’s awesome female heroes (and villains!) and a collection of excellent artwork. If there’s a little lass in your life, she should have this book.