If you haven’t visited the children’s book section of a brick and mortar bookstore in a while, you may not know about the surprising number of recent children’s books featuring strong women, both fictional and IRL.
Check out these 10 incredible children’s books for young feminists.
1. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, by Chelsea Clinton
Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted.
She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.
This book features Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.
2. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.
Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them.
The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.
3. My Feminist ABC, by Irene Pizzolante
E is for Equal Rights, F is for Feminism, G is for Girl Power and also for Grit. This inspiring board book teaches little ones an esteemed alphabet of female (and human) values. Big ideas start early in life, and babies and tots of all genders will have a blast with the colorful art and sassy text in the pages of this unique book.
4. Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere dreamed of becoming a great engineer. Where some people see rubbish, Rosie sees inspiration. Alone in her room at night, shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Hot dog dispensers, helium pants, python-repelling cheese hats: Rosie’s gizmos would astound—if she ever let anyone see them.
Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. Until a fateful visit from her great-great-aunt Rose (AKA Rosie the Riveter!), who shows her that the first flop isn’t something to fear—it’s something to celebrate. And you can only truly fail if you quit.
5. Goodnight Lab, by Chris Ferrie
While poking fun at the clutter and chaos of lab life, scientists of all ages will appreciate ending their day with this sweet parody. They’ll be rested and ready to return to the world of research in the morning This scientific parody book in the style of Goodnight Moon is a delight for little lab girls and guys.
This book is the perfect solution if you’re looking for science gifts and physics gifts for curious kids.
6. I Like Myself!, by Karen Beaumont
High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.
7. I Look Up To… Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by Anna Membrino
It’s never too early to introduce children to the people you admire! This board book distills Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s excellent qualities into deliciously illustrated little baby-sized bites, with text designed to share and read aloud.
Each spread highlights an important trait and is enhanced by a quote from RBG herself. The I LOOK UP TO . . . series aims to shine a spotlight on women making a difference in the world today, and to encourage young kids to follow in their footsteps!
8. This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer, by Joan Holub
Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!
In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts, and bold illustrations.
9. DC Super Heroes: My First Book of Girl Power, by Julie Merberg
A celebration of girl power for budding superheroines featuring beloved DC characters from Wonder Woman to Batgirl.
Exploring attributes from physical strength to intuition, this introduction to DC’s superheroines is also a catalog of role models for little girls. From Wonder Woman’s ability to find the truth to Black Canary’s powerful voice to Batgirl’s keen mind, readers will find much to admire. Cool, classic art makes for a fun, colorful package.
10. Tough Chicks, by Cece Mang
From the moment Penny, Polly, and Molly hatch from their eggs, the whole farm knows they are truly tough chicks. They wrestle worms, rope roosters, and are often found under the hood of the tractor. All the other animals and even the farmer himself tell Mama Hen to make her chicks good. “They are good!” Mama Hen replies. But could her chicks be too loud, too independent, and too tough? Lively language and bold illustrations capture all the fun and humor of this delightfully different farmyard romp that’s also a resounding endorsement for letting girls be girls (even if they’re loud and tough and like to play with tractors.)