Storytime with your little one is an essential part of parenthood. It’s great one-on-one bonding and a chance to learn new words. Growing up, essential children’s books helped shape how we saw the world. If you’re now yourself a parent, you might be searching for the best books that teach diversity or want some craft-focused books to inspire your little maker. But you also know that reading and discussing female-driven, empowering children’s books is part of raising awesome kids, so we pulled together a list of some great feminist books to fill out your family’s library.
1. I Dissent by Debbie Levy and Elizabeth Baddeley ($18): Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made a career of voicing her opinion on people’s rights, even when it means disagreeing with others. In this picture book biography of the storied judge and OG of girl power, her life story will inspire young girls to persist against all odds. (Ages 4+)
2. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin ($11): This beautifully illustrated Newbery Honor winner is a modern-day retelling of Chinese folklore. The young heroine ventures out on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon who has the answers to all of life’s problems. If you want some insight into author Grace Lin’s inspiration, check out The Longest Shortest Time (the BEST parenting podcast) interview with her. (Ages 9+)
3. Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen ($20): Author and illustrator Ann Shen originally started this “bad girls” project as a 12-page zine featuring women who defied gender stereotypes. The response to her zine was so huge she created a sequel, eventually curating a list of 100 amazing women — including Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie and Joan Jett. You’ll love introducing your kiddo to this amazing group of revolutionary, bad-ass women. (Ages 12+)
4. A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson and Eric Velasquez ($8): A stunning and inspiring book set during the Civil Rights movement, this story features two young girls who sneak out of their house to join an equality march led by Dr. King. Looking at social justice from the perspective of children is a great way to lead a discussion with your own kids about how they can get involved in the world around them. (Ages 5+)
5. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match (AKA Marisol McDonald no combina) by Monica Brown and Sara Palacios ($18): This bilingual Spanish-English children’s book is about a young girl who is mixed race and does things a little differently. She loves peanut butter and jelly burritos (sounds so good!), mixing polka dots and stripes and her own red hair and dark skin. This fun and colorful book is a must for any amazing kid in your life. (Ages 5+)
6. Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood and Meg Hunt ($17): This retelling of the classic fairy tale involves a robot mouse sidekick, spaceships and the Gravity-Free Ball. Cinderella is reimagined as an intergalactic heroine who arrives at the Prince’s Royal Space Parade in a bejeweled atomic blue space suit. This is all about being yourself and staying true to what you love. (Ages 4+)
7. Just Us Women by Jeannette Caines and Pat Cummings ($7): This picture book — once featured on Reading Rainbow — follows the adventures of an aunt and her niece as they go on a road trip together in Aunt Martha’s new car. Give this to your sister to read with your daughter to help them form their own special bond. (Ages 4+)
8. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko ($6): Like Interstellar Cinderella, this princess’s tale isn’t your average fable of girl meets boy. When a dragon smashes Princess Elizabeth’s castle and burns her clothes, the intrepid princess dons a paper bag and tracks down her kidnapped prince. A favorite among parents since it was published almost 40 years ago, this story is an opportunity for your little one to appreciate a truly independent young lady. (Ages 4+)
Got any favorite book recommendations for new parents? Tweet us your best suggestions @BritandCo!
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