Bookworm: Advice to Little Girls by Mark Twain

Advice to Little Girls

Recently, I came across the most wonderful Silver Lining book: Advice to Little Girls written by Mark Twain in 1865. In this beautiful children’s story, Mark Twain challenged -as the title suggests – little girls to digest the intelligent humor he was, and still is, known for among his adult audiences. How fun is that?

The Silver Lining is that Maria Popova from Brain Pickings discovered the Italian version of the book in the summer of 2011 and convinced Claudia Bedrick of Enchanted Lion Books to reprint the book in English. How fabulous is that?  I mean, really.

And THEN, beloved Russian children’s illustrator Vladimir Radunsky signed onto the project. He wrote in the New York Review of Books that in his illustrations, he tried “to follow Twain’s style, I wanted to make something along the lines of a scrap-book or an album that you could buy in any paper-goods store at the time. Children used these small albums to paste in various curious objects, or for drawing, or just for doodling.”

I love this book. Love-love-love it! It’s beautiful, engaging, charming, witty and spot ON. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we are!

Advice to Little Girls Mark Twain

Good little girls always show marked deference for the aged. You ought never to “sass” old people unless they “sass” you first.

Advice to Little Girls

You ought never to take your little brother’s “chewing-gum” away from him by main force; it is better to rope him in with the promise of the first two dollars and a half you find floating down the river on a grindstone. In the artless simplicity natural to this time of life, he will regard it as a perfectly fair transaction. In all ages of the world this eminently plausible fiction has lured the obtuse infant to financial ruin and disaster.

Advice to Little Girls, Mark Twain,

Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.

Leave a Reply to Carolee Cancel reply


  1. says

    I love Vladimir Radunsky's illustrations! They go so well with Twain's writing.
    I like the fact that back in 1865 Twain chose to write "Advice to Little Girls", and empower them with his words, rather than boys. What a charming little book! Thanks for sharing it with us.