The power and influence of fictional characters can really help inspire children. That’s why we love inspiring stories of all kinds. Yet, while my boys have lots of stories to learn from, it can be harder for my daughters to find inspiring female characters to remember and emulate. So I was really delighted to get this book for them. Each two page spread features a lovely (and cute) watercolor of each mythical woman — taken from many cultures — on one page, and a few paragraphs telling their basic biography, influence, or a brief retelling of their most famous story. The stories fall into chapters revolving around creativity, love, power, protection, and reinvention. Explanations galore can be found for folk traditions the world over.

For example, in Disney’s Coco, my daughters asked about the marigold petals that form roads for the dead to visit the living on the Day of the Dead. So now, I was able to show them that the petals are related to Xochiquetzal, an Aztec goddess of artists and craftsmen. Each chapter ends with a suggestion to “call” on the goddesses for help in certain situations. My daughters were confused by this, but I suggested it meant to simply remember their example, and that girls and women have faced similar challenges before. Altogether, it’s an inspiring, well-made compilation with lovely illustrations everyone is sure to enjoy.

This is a delightful, well-made, high quality book that makes fun (and funny) wordless sequences of an amazing and surprising variety of accidental deaths — of the author, himself. I can’t even begin to psychoanalyze the motivation here, but our motivation in “reading” this book is very clear — it’s a riot! The artwork is really top-notch, too. In his bio information, it says Koblish mostly has worked as a colorist for various comic books, but here, most of the cartoons are rendered mostly in shades of gray (or actually taupe) with hits of color there and there. In my (too many) years reading comic books, I’ve noticed how widely the quality can vary. At their best though, they can rival the highest level of illustration (even, high art) quality. Some seem to be similar in style to the most dramatic Calvin and Hobbes comics, yet overall, offer a style and look all their own. It’s all really impressive.