The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz:
I purchased this book at a library book sale when our oldest DD was just a toddler (she's now 8...I mean 8 and a half). At the time, I figured there would be a day when she would enjoy all that this book has to offer. That day has come!
The contents of this book are incredibly varied. Examples are: rules of the game (basketball), rules of the game (netball), palm reading, the history of writing and writing in cursive italics, fourteen games of tag, Spanish terms of endearment, idioms & other items of note, daring Spanish girls, pressing flowers, four square, princesses today - and that's all up to page 20. There are ideas, projects, tidbits of history and such to fill 279 pages.
DD loved the coolest paper airplane ever (pages 134-135). There are instructions on how to make a traditional paper airplane, as well as scientific explanations why it flies. There are also instructions on how to make a "round" paper airplane.
DD also bookmarked every girl's toolbox (pages 70-72) with a Lego. These pages instruct you on the tools you will need - real tools like safety glasses, claw hammer, nails, a screwdriver, etc.
But I think she enjoyed the section on how to be a spy the most (pages 153-157). She loved the secret codes, and had me do a bunch of them with her. She marked these pages with a little smiley face.
There are a lot of illustrations throughout the book, and all of them are done with a slightly old fashioned appeal, making the book feel a bit vintage. There are also some photographs that come in handy, like pictures of specific birds in the bird watching section.
I really love that this book doesn't resort to "girly" things, like how to do pedi's and mani's. It's perfect for my tomboy, and there are actually a lot of projects in here that boys would like. But even if your little girl is a "girly girl" there are sure to be things in here that she would enjoy, like how to make friendship bracelets & handclap games. There is something in here for every girl.
DD said the book is "awesome" and that there are a lot more things in there that she wants to do. And then, she whisked the book away and started reading, asking me questions about Cleopatra and talking about the pranks she hasn't had a chance to try yet, and said to herself as she read, "108" which happens to be the page about pirates.
Yes, we love this book.