A Mighty Girl Blog

  • A Mighty Girl Tribute to the Work of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    515a2s89qhl_1_[1]Maybe you first heard the name Hayao Miyazaki in 2003, when Spirited Away won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film, and wondered what was so remarkable that had everyone talking; maybe you had long since discovered the wondrous, fantastical works of this visionary writer and filmmaker; or maybe you’ve only just heard about Miyazaki’s work, and you’re wondering which film you might want to check out. Whatever your experience with Miyazaki, or Studio Ghibli, the animation studio he co-founded, chances are good that you’ll recognize the name!

    Miyazaki’s body of work holds a special place with us at A Mighty Girl. In the world of animated films, girls are surprisingly under-represented, especially adventurous, daring girls. Unlike many anime or manga writers — and many children’s media writers in general — Miyazaki's films frequently star strong female characters. And while Western audience often think of animation as a medium strictly for children, Miyazaki’s works range from the fanciful and fun, like Kiki’s Delivery Service, to darker, more complex works that tackle challenging issues, like Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

    51lvmvy0a4l_1_[1]Miyazaki, who is often called “the Walt Disney of Japan”, has also inspired others with his love of traditional hand-drawn animation, his nuanced and complex characters, and his vivid fantasy settings. In fact, much like Walt Disney, the hallmarks of his work are clear, even on Studio Ghibli projects that he did not direct or write. Filmmakers and animators around the world have declared the powerful influence Miyazaki’s work had on their own, including John Lasseter, Akira Kurosawa, and Guillermo del Toro — as well as the creative team behind The Simpsons, which included a scene referencing multiple Miyazaki films in a 2014 episode.

    In honor of Miyazaki’s retirement, A Mighty Girl has put together a tribute to the works of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Here, we’ll share some of his manga comic titles and films, as well as toys, gear, clothing, and decor that celebrate these beautiful stories. If you're a fan of Miyazaki’s work, you’ll find some great products to celebrate your favorite characters, and if you’re new to Miyazaki, we hope this blog will inspire you to check out some of his work. We’re confident that you — and your Mighty Girl — will love Miyazaki as much as millions of other fans do. Continue reading

  • "That Time Of The Month": Teaching Your Mighty Girl About Her Menstrual Cycle

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    PERIOdcover[1]Do you remember having your period for the first time? Were you relieved, scared, confused? Did you know what was happening, or were you told after the fact? Did you think you could bleed to death or make people sick, or believe that you couldn’t swim or go to gym class? Did you hear someone make joking references to women being “on the rag” and think, “I’ll die of embarrassment if anyone knows?” Did you feel like you were prepared?

    In a world that is increasingly public about all sorts of previously private topics, menstruation is still a taboo subject. What information girls do hear around them is often negative or incorrect, and even school health classes that discuss the subject often focus on the “nuts and bolts” without ever touching on the real, practical experience of a monthly cycle. As a result menarche — a girl’s first period — is still likely to be disconcerting for her.

    But parents, mentors, and friends of Mighty Girls can turn this milestone of womanhood into a much more positive experience. By providing lots of accurate information, real-life experience, and practical advice, girls can learn to view their menstrual cycle in a totally different way: as an important element of their female nature and as a key sign of coming adulthood. In this blog, we’ll help you turn a girl’s first period into an empowering experience. Continue reading

  • Beloved Books: Twenty Mighty Girl Classics

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    51cmcooy55l_1_[1]While there are dozens of great new Mighty Girl books getting published every year, there are also many girl-empowering stories that have been passed down for generations! Times may have changed, but these classic characters still speak to the girls of today just as they did to their grandmothers.

    With that in mind, we're showcasing our favorite classic Mighty Girl stories. These are books that you’re likely to remember from your own childhood — in fact, you may have even been first introduced to them because an adult you know loved them as as child!

    Of course, there are so many of these classic stories that it was hard to narrow down our list, so with that in mind, we’ve split our list of favorites into two parts. In this post, we’re highlighting our twenty favorite stories from 1950 and earlier and we'll follow-up with a selection of our favorite modern classics.

    The classic stories featured below have already been passed down through multiple generations — now is a great time to introduce them to a new generation of Mighty Girls! Continue reading

  • Back to School Part II: Mighty Girls in Middle School, High School, and Beyond

    StandUp_350x350[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Parents of younger Mighty Girls looking for books about school can check out our first blog in this series: Back to School Part I: 15 Stories on Mighty Girls’ Adventures at School.

    By the time your child is a tween or teen, you might think that they’ve got this whole “school” thing down — but in reality, the transitions to middle school, high school, and post-secondary education are all just as significant as that first step through the kindergarten doors. And beyond finding their bearings in a new school, they also have to adjust to increasing independence and start thinking about the career direction they have to take. Put it all together and it’s no wonder that tweens and teens report being stressed out by school!

    Fortunately, there are some great books out there to help tweens, teens, and their parents get used to all of these changes. Whether she’s looking for advice on changing classes for the first time, figuring out how to navigate increasingly complicated social waters, handling living independently at college, or wondering what kind of career might suit her, there’s a book here to help.

    And for parents who are looking at this rapidly-changing creature in front of them — seemingly a little girl one moment and a grown woman the next — there are books to help understand how your relationship dynamic is changing and what she’s going through behind those school and bedroom doors. Continue reading

  • Pack It Up: A Mighty Girl's Backpacks and Lunch Bags for Back to School

    wonder-woman-backpackBy Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Even though we're still in the heart of the summer, for many children the start of school is just around the corner! Time to start stocking up on all the supplies your Mighty Girl will need for the upcoming year — and number one on most lists is a great backpack. If you’re looking for some fun backpack options that don’t restrict your Mighty Girl to a limited range of themes or colors — or a backpack featuring her favorite character — our Bags & Packs section has a variety of different options for you to check out!

    To get you started on your shopping, we’re sharing some of our favorite backpacks and lunch totes from our collection. These bags, which offer a range of sizes and themes, will give you a good idea of the possibilities out there for your Mighty Girl this year. So let’s get packing!

    And, if you're looking for stories to help your Mighty Girl prepare for the new school year -- whether she's starting preschool or heading off to college -- we recommend a range of school stories in our special feature Top Mighty Girl School Stories. You can also learn about many of our favorites in two blog posts: Back to School: 15 Stories on Mighty Girls' Adventures at School and Mighty Girls in Middle School, High School, and Beyond. Continue reading

  • Back to School Part I: 15 Stories on Mighty Girls' Adventures at School

    adventureanniekindergartencover[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Parents of older Mighty Girls looking for books about school can check out our second blog in this series: Back to School Part II: Mighty Girls in Middle School, High School, and Beyond.

    While it sometimes feels like “back to school” starts right after school ends for the summer, the truth is that preparing for school does take a lot of time — both for parents and for kids who are off on this new adventure. And it’s easy for parents to forget that there was a time when school was totally unfamiliar, and maybe a little scary!

    Whether your Mighty Girl is about to start a preschool program or if she's preparing to move to elementary school or a new school, here are some great books to help her feel prepared. By answering some of her questions about what it will be like — and reassuring her that there are wonderful things to learn and do there — you can help your Mighty Girl get excited about her school career. And for parents of older Mighty Girls, watch for a follow-up blog with books about school for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and beyond!

    For more books about Mighty Girls and school, in addition to our recommendations below, visit our special feature on the Top Mighty Girl School Stories.

    And, for fun back-to-school gear for Mighty Girls, including backpacks, lunch bags, and school supplies, check out A Mighty Girl's School Gear Guide. Continue reading

  • Putting the Words "Behind" Me: A 14-Year-Old Mighty Girl Takes a Stand Against Body Shaming

    Editor's Note

    In early July, 14-year-old Mighty Girl Carleigh O’Connell took a courageous stand against body shaming and taught the kids at her school -- and people around the world -- an inspiring lesson about the power of self-confidence. When Carleigh heard from kids at her school that someone had written a body shaming slur across a large cement barrier at a beach in her New Jersey hometown, she decided to pose proudly for a picture with the graffiti in plain view.

    After our Facebook post about Carleigh reached four million people and her story went viral, Carleigh wanted to share more about her story and offer advice to other teens who might also experience body shaming or bullying. Her guest blog post, as well as a selection of resource books and organizations for young people seeking advice or help, is below.

    By Carleigh O’Connell, Guest Blogger

    carleigh-oconnell Carleigh in front of the graffiti

    How does a 14-year-old girl stand up on a graffiti-covered rock that makes fun of her body, take a picture, and then have the picture go viral on the internet reaching over 4 million people? Well, it happened, and it happened to me.

    I am not really sure what made me step up on the rock that day. I do know that I didn't hesitate to do it. I knew it my heart it was right, and looking back, I would make the same decision if I had it to do over again. This entire experience has been a whirlwind, and I have learned so much. One of the most valuable lessons I've learn is that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself when no one else will, and do what people don't expect you to do.

    The way I saw it, I had a choice. I could have just walked away, cried in my room or tried to ignore it altogether, but that wasn't an option for me. I knew the moment I saw the graffiti that I had to respond, and that's exactly what I did. I responded back to someone's hurtful behavior instead of becoming the victim and letting them get away with it.

    Some call this bullying; I just call it "mean." Whoever wrote this wanted to bring attention to themselves. I can only assume that they were trying to be funny or cool around their friends at my expense. So, I turned the tables and highlighted the fact that it wasn't about them, it was about me, and I am not okay with being someone's target or springboard for popularity. Continue reading

  • Mighty Careers: I Want To Be A Veterinarian!

    By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    In our Mighty Careers blog series, we celebrate the careers that Mighty Girls around the world are dreaming of pursuing one day! In each blog, we provide a career role model, as well as recommendations for books, clothing, and toys to support and encourage her aspirations. Whether she’s three or thirteen, you’ll find options here to teach her more about her dream job — and help her start preparing to live it!

    biscuitvisitsthedoctorIn this post, we’re highlighting resources for budding veterinarians! Whether your Mighty Girl pictures herself in a small animal practice, taking care of beloved dogs and cats; a large animal practice, caring for horses and cattle; or a more specialized practice like caring for exotic or zoo animals, her dream job requires a combination of a love for animals and a fascination with science.

    And she’s not alone in her aspirations: as of 2009, women actually outnumbered men in the American Veterinary Medicine Association, and as of this year, women make up 78% of veterinary medicine students. But it takes determination, drive, and an awful lot of work to earn your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) scrubs, so the support she gets from her family and friends will make all the difference in the world to her future success.

    To support your Mighty Girl’s interest in veterinary medicine, we’ve collected a variety of books, toys, clothing, and decor that celebrates an interest in animal medicine. With these resources, you can help her achieve her goal of adding the coveted DVM to her name!

    For more Mighty Career ideas, check out our earlier posts on engineers, pilots, wildlife biologists, and astronauts.

    You can find more stories about Mighty Girl animal lovers in our blog Animal Friends: 20 Mighty Girl Stories About Caring for Animals. Continue reading

  • Animal Friends: 20 Mighty Girl Stories About Caring For Animals

    51q52f0nvql_1_[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    For many Mighty Girls, a beloved animal provides a treasured relationship. And whether an animal is large or small, wild or domesticated or maybe even imaginary, sometimes it’s a Mighty Girl who cares for them or even comes to their rescue! If your Mighty Girl is an animal lover, she’ll love these stories about fictional Mighty Girls who take care of the other creatures around them.

    For stories of Mighty Girls and women — both fictional and real — who study wildlife, check out our Mighty Careers blog I Want To Be A Wildlife Biologist!.

    20 Animal-Loving Mighty Girl Books

    Please, Puppy, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (age 0 - 3)

    The irrepressible little girl from Please, Baby, Please is back, a little older and with a new responsibility — a puppy! But as anyone who’s added a young puppy to their family knows, an undisciplined pup is hard to manage for an adult, let alone a pair of preschoolers. Adults will smile and young readers will laugh at this very loving and true-to-life depiction of the excitement of caring for a puppy. Continue reading

  • True North Strong and Free: 10 Amazing Canadian Women

    8621604[1]By Katherine Handcock, A Mighty Girl Communications Specialist

    Happy Canada Day! Canada has come a long way since the Dominion of Canada was formed 147 years ago. It’s gone from the four original provinces to ten provinces and three territories that truly fulfill the national motto, “From sea to shining sea.” A diverse nation of peoples from all over the world, Canada is looking towards a bright future.

    And unsurprisingly, throughout Canada’s history, brave women have been there to leave their mark. From the earliest colonial settlements to today, women have helped shape the history and culture of Canada. To celebrate Canada Day, A Mighty Girl is paying tribute to ten of these amazing women. From activists to scientists, authors to engineers, and athletes to doctors, these women have shown that Canadian pride is universal.

    So let’s take a trip through Canada’s past and present to recognize these ten women who have helped make this country a place so many people are proud to call home. Continue reading

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