. . . my daughter even asked if Dabi was a real girl she could play with . . .

My almost 4-year-old is full of spirit. She has almost unlimited energy and loves to test the limits. She is curious, sometimes mischievous, and always up for an adventure… and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So when I was sent a copy of Adventure Girl: Dabi Digs in Israel, I knew it would be a hit in our home. The book is written and beautifully illustrated by award-winning illustrator and fine artist, Janice Hechter, and this is her first book as both author and illustrator.

The story is about a young girl named Dabi who is visiting her grandparents in Israel. Dabi’s parents continue to insist that she dress and act like a “little lady,” but her adventurous spirit wants to explore and get her hands dirty. Dabi is thrilled to find a kindred spirit in her aunt Gili, who takes her on a surprise adventure to explore a special park to “dig up history.”

Dabi and her aunt have the chance to look for treasures from long ago at the Beit Guvrin National Park with a real archaeologist, and Dabi is in heaven as she is able to climb through caves and dig in the dirt. She even finds an ancient artifact that she is rewarded for discovering with a special certificate from the dig site.

Finding books like this, where gender roles and expectations are pushed, always make me happy as a parent. While my daughter enjoys princess stories just like many other little girls, books where I can show her other sides of what “being a girl” can look like are always welcome in our library.

The pictures in the book are so full of detail that they almost look like a photograph, and my daughter even asked if Dabi was a real girl she could play with! While I sadly told her that she couldn’t actually play with Dabi, she was excited to learn that the site that Dabi explored is a real place in Israel, and she made us promise to take her there on our next trip so that she could also be an adventure girl like Dabi.

Jennifer Starrett – https://www.jewphx.com/blog/book-review-adventure-girl

Dabi is the Model of Pluck and Determination

A girl power story of an archeologist in training who is always at the ready for the next great adventure. Never deterred by others, Dabi is the model of pluck and determination. She immerses herself in nature, digging up worms, and creating sculptures out of mud. Rich, tactile illustrations complement the punchy, action-packed story. Peppered throughout this terrific book are expanses of breathtaking and intriguing ancient dig sites. Highly recommended! 

Samantha Baskind, Professor of Art History, Cleveland State University