I’ve been dreaming of having children. The room that my partner and I are preparing for a little one only has one piece of furniture thus far. It’s a bookshelf. As we talk about the values that we want to instill in our children, I can’t help but think of the stories that will help me teach them. Slowly, our bookshelf has started to accumulate feminist children’s books I can’t wait to read to my future daughter or son. I thought I’d share them with you in case you’re raising a feminist too.
Fiction Feminist Children’s Books
Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller
Aria knows her Black hair is beautiful any way she rocks it. She’s just tired of people touching it. After getting frustrated, Aria decides to advocate for herself and set boundaries for others. She makes it known that no one can touch her hair without her permission.
Dress Like a Girl by Patricia Toht and Lorian Tu-Dean
This is a great read for little readers that love exploring fashion. Whether it’s talking about adding white to your wardrobe for a trip to space in astronaut garb or rocking a lab coat with deep pockets that can hold your medical gear, this book shows there’s no wrong way to dress like a girl.
What Makes a Hero by Pamela Bobowicz and Eda Kaban
This book is perfect for young feminists who love comics. From the women warriors and scientists of Wakanda to Captain Marvel and Black Widow, readers get to know the important women in the world of Marvel. Each woman shares a bit about her superpowers and encourages readers to discover and treasure their own.
I Will Be Fierce by Bea Birdsong and Nidhi Chanani
This book is a charge for young girls to find their confidence, use their voice, and celebrate their victories. Over the course of a regular day at school, the young narrator talks about all of the small but meaningful ways she can be fierce. She covers topics like exploring her curiosities, gaining new wisdom, and standing up for her beliefs.
Imani’s Moon by Janay Brown-Wood and Hazel Mitchell
Imani has big dreams despite being the smallest and most teased girl in her village. When her mom tells her a story about a moon goddess named Olapa, Imani is inspired to show her tribe all the wonderful things that she can be and do.
Nonfiction Feminist Children’s Books
These nonfiction feminist children’s books are evidence there’s nothing that women can’t do.
Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome
This biography reveals all of the many ways Harriet Tubman fought injustice, moving backward chronologically all the way from her time as a suffragist to her life as a little girl. The lyrical writing and gorgeous images are sure to entrance your young reader and make them eager to learn more.
Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris and Ana Ramirez Gonzalez
Before Kamala Harris was the Vice President of the United States, she was a kid that wanted to make a change in her neighborhood. Her niece, Meena Harris, wrote a book about the first time Kamala advocated for the people around her. As a child, Kamala wanted to build a playground in her building’s courtyard. Kamala and her sister started going door to door to ask for help from neighbors after the landlord turned them down. With some help and hard work, their dream came true. This book is a wonderful reminder that you’re never too young to accomplish big things.
Instructions Not Included: How a Team of Women Coded the Future by Tami Lewis Brown & Debbie Loren Dunn and Chelsea Beck
This book celebrates how Betty Snyder, Jean Jennings, and Kay McNulty met at the University of Pennsylvania and worked on programming the ENIAC computer together. Computer science may be a male-dominated field, but these women pioneers show that women are every bit as capable of taking it by storm.
Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote by Kirsten Gillibrand and Maira Kalman
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand shares that when her grandmother was born, women didn’t have the right to vote. Today, Gillibrand is able to hold her place in office because of the suffragists who fought for women’s rights. This book gives children insight into how women like Jovita Idár, Inez Milholland, and Ida B. Wells paved the way for the women today. As an adult reader, there was a lot packed into this short read that I never learned about in my U.S. History classes in school.
Girls Hold Up This World by Jada Pinkett Smith and Donyell Kennedy McCullough
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith celebrates the strength of women in this sweet rhyming book for kids. She challenges women to stand together, find their confidence, and make the world a better place.
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