It’s never too early to be woke. Through board books, even our youngest humans can start to learn how to disrupt racism, sexism, and other injustices. These board books for woke babies will ensure that you’re raising a tiny world-changer.
Being woke is about recognizing and resisting oppressive systems. It’s about standing up for ourselves and others. It’s about making the world a better and more just place for everyone. Who wouldn’t want to teach these ideals to our children?
Read on for seven books that will help your babies (and you!) to become more woke.
This alphabet board book is beautifully written and illustrated. It utilizes alliteration and rhyme to introduce children (and parents!) to concepts like activism, democracy, environmental justice, feminism, and LGBTQ rights. You and your baby will be so woke by the time you get to Z that you’ll be eager to check out Nagara’s popular counting board book, Counting on Community.
Think Big, Little One is a board book version of Harrison’s Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World. The board book version includes 18 innovative women. Featuring scientists like Marie Curie and environmental activists like Wangari Maathai, this book will inspire your little ones to have big goals. Harrison has written several other books for woke babies, including Dream Big, Little One.
This board book also uses a rhyme pattern to feature influential women. It’s more simplistic than A is for Activist and less diverse than Think Big, Little One but it’s still worth having on your woke baby’s book shelf. Holub has several similar books in her “This Little” board book series, including This Little Dreamer and This Little Scientist.
I obviously had to put this book on the list for the title alone, but it is a great read. The illustrations show an adorable Black baby doing typical baby things. The author reframes those baby activities as revolutionary acts: waving a baby fist is “fingers curled into a panther’s paw pointing up, up, up for justice.” Browne also authored Black Girl Magic: A Poem.
A sequel to Brantz’s popular board book Feminist Baby, I chose this board book because it features a feminist boy of color. The rhyming text and rich illustrations make the book really engaging, but the story teaches lots of great lessons. Feminist baby is happy being himself dressed as a dinosaur with a tutu. He knows it’s okay to cry. He toots and giggles. While this book is a more simplistic introduction to feminism, it’s worth the read.
C is for Consent follows a boy named Finn as he learns bodily autonomy. Finn’s parents make sure he understands that he doesn’t have to kiss his grandfather or hug his grandmother, even if they have given him a gift. This is such a valuable lesson for children, who are often coerced into physical affection and sometimes inadvertently taught that adults are allowed to touch them with or without their consent. Finn internalizes this lesson and is careful to ask for consent before touching a friend at the end of the story.
No list of board books for woke babies would be complete without an ode to radical self-love. (After all, Audre Lorde taught us that loving ourselves is an act of political warfare.) This catchy rhyming text features a joyful child of color who loves herself unapologetically and invites us to do the same.