Spark! Happy Birthday Malala!

Malala-at-Heathrow_2615534k*Here’s something that will keep you smiling through the weekend:

Today is the 16th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakastani teen who has long advocated for girls rights, even after being shot in the head by a Taliban last fall. She celebrated her birthday — which being called Malala Day — by making a powerful and heartfelt speech at the U.N. about the importance of educating all children:

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first,” Malala said, according to Global Motherhood. Read more of her amazing and inspiring words on The Huffington Post.

*Towards the Stars has a great The Little Girls’ Guide To Taking Over The Galaxy, which includes 12 powerful pieces of advice, including this tips to pass on to the girls in your life:

We particularly love this tip: “Your Super Power Is Your Confidence.  Go out and take the world by storm. Speak up, ask for what you want, learn that your success is not dependent on your gender but on your hard work and your values. ”

*ONE LAST THING: We’ve written before about the dangerous lack of diversity in children’s books (Out of 3,600 children’s book reviewed, 93 percent were about Caucasian characters!). That’s why we  are thinking a lot about this startling illustration artist Tina Kugler, recently published on The First Book Blog, which explains what this diversity really looks like — and how it impacts kids.