Two years ago Maria Popova—the author behind the wildly popular Brain Pickings blog—came across Advice to Little Girls, an obscure and charming short story by Mark Twain. As Popova describes on her blog, the great American satirist had penned the booklet in 1865, at age 30, “mischievously encouraging girls to think independently rather than blindly obey rules and social mores.”
At some point, an Italian publishing house reissued the story with whimsical drawings by award-winning illustrator Vladimir Radunsky—and, enchanted by the lot, Popova convinced Brooklyn’s Enchanted Lion Books to do an American edition. It just came out April 2, a little jewel of rich drawings—of delightfully naughty girl children reminiscent of Ramona Quimby, Eloise, or Matilda—and cheekily sage advice from Twain. We have a feeling it will delight little girls and grown-up girls alike.