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Sugar and spice, and everything nice: Is that what little girls are made of?

This post from Virago about the lack of strong heroines for young girls in film and television compared to those in children’s literature made me think about which characters I looked up to when I was a child.  Like a lot of little girls I had my fair share of Barbie dolls and loved Disney princesses, but I was also a tomboy who insisted on having my hair cut short and wearing boys’ clothes.  Of course I was too young to question the apparent dichotomy between the two, unlike now where my heart is torn between the feminist literature on my bookshelves and the pretty dresses in my wardrobe, but I digress.

As a near insatiable reader in my formative years, a few of my favourite childhood heroines sprang immediately to mind:

Matilda by Roald Dahl

'By the time she was three, Matilda had taught herself to read by studying newspapers and magazines that lay around the house'

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