After much deliberation, and I truly mean nearly a year’s worth of brainstorming and mind-numbing indecisiveness, a very important decision has finally been reached in our household. They’re going in a totally new direction than I’d expected, and working together no less.
They’re going to dress up as Harry Potter and Hermione Granger for Halloween.
Elsie had been set on being Annie (as in Little Orphan) this year since before we’d even put away last year’s Halloween decorations. She wavered around springtime and decided on Ladybug Girl. There was a brief stint about a month ago where she was thinking of Pippi Longstocking, but decided her hair wasn’t quite long enough yet, and she went back to her original idea of being Annie.
Toby has been more into traditional Halloween costumes- last year he was a cardboard box robot, before that he was a pirate and a skeleton. He was tending toward a mummy or a ghost, maybe a devil this year.
I threw out the idea of Harry Potter, since he loves the first two books and movies so far, and it struck a chord, because he got all excited and Elsie immediately piped up that she could be Hermione. WELL. I guess that’s that. I couldn’t think of a better character for this girl to be.
The other night as we were getting ready for bed, Toby asked me if Harry or Hermione was the best wizard. I thought for a moment and said, “Well, I guess Harry’s the most naturally powerful wizard, seeing as he has that whole thing going with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, but Hermione, well, Hermione’s muggle-born. This doesn’t come naturally to her, she has to work at it. And she works harder than anyone else, and because she studies so hard, she knows the most. And knowledge is power.” The more I think about that, the more pleased I am that Elsie chose Hermione. She is a character that embodies female empowerment- she is smart, courageous, independent, opinionated, and kind. As Emma Watson said, “Young girls are told you have to be the delicate princess. Hermione taught them that you can be the warrior.” Yeah, Elsie, good call.
Today’s book has the same message.
This is part of Brad Meltzer’s “Ordinary People Change the World” series, in which heroic biographies are rewritten as children’s books- he’s also written about Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, and Abe Lincoln. They’re fun books that make history relatable to little ones.
I Am Amelia Earhart begins with a young daredevil Amelia, drawn in a very Calvin and Hobbes-style, creating a track from her shed roof to the ground that will propel a cart into the air. She races down and for the first time, flies. Until she crashes, anyway. But she gets a taste for flight.
As she grows up (though inexplicably is still illustrated as a young girl), she takes flying lessons and works several jobs in order to afford her first plane. Like Hermione, she works hard, studies hard, and it is this work ethic that propels her greatness.
In fact, she sets records all over the place, regardless of boundaries society wants to place on her. There are photos of Amelia Earhart in the back of the book as a seven year old, with her instructors, and with her plane. Elsie loves those pages the best and never lets me skip them.