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5 Empowering Books with Strong Female Characters for Kids

Before I had children, I was buying books. As a preschool teacher, I took advantage of the book orders sent to my classroom and ordered way too many for a person without children, who was not a librarian. Now with my two young girls, I’m constantly on the hunt for interesting, empowering books with strong female characters. 

Recently we were at Barnes and Noble where I found some new and new-to-me picture books to share with my girls.

I’ve included the summaries from the publishers, but reviews are from yours truly.

Empowering Books for Kids

The Fresh Princess by Denene Millner

Summary:

This is Destiny. But everyone calls her Fresh Princess. She’s got style. She’s got flair. In all thing fresh and princessy, she’s got it licked. That is until she moves to a brand-new neighborhood, where nothing looks quite the same as it did at her old house.

In the spirit of the Fresh Prince himself, fresh Princess is a new girl on the scene who faces every day with courage, spunk, creativity and of course style.

Review: Have you been missing The Fresh Prince? Here’s your upgrade! If you’ve recently had a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), your daughter might empathize with Destiny. Her heart still aches for the place she left behind, but she is trying to jump right in with the neighborhood friends through Double Dutch jump-roping. This book acknowledges that moving can be hard,  but encourages kids to be brave and find something they enjoy doing again. 

Because by Mo Willems

Summary:

Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl’s journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems’ music to life, conducting a stunning picture-book debut.

Review: This is a softer Mo Willems book, with no Elephant or Piggie. Kids who love music will love watching the chain of events that starts with “a man named Ludwig” and ends up with a girl making music of her own with luck and coincidence along the way. If you happen to be musically inclined, you can plink out the notes on the front and back jackets!

 

Meet Yasmin by Saadi Faruqi and Halem Aly  

Summary:

Yasmin Ahmad is a curious second-grader who lives with her parents and grandparents in a big city. She’s always on the lookout for those “aha!” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. With her big imagination and plenty of pep, Yasmin and her Pakistani American family are ready for new adventures every day!

Review: This would be a great read-aloud together for 6+, and  I included it because there are still a lot of pictures, even though it has small chapters. Yasmin is peppy and reminds me of my daughters. Readers will enjoy watching her problem-solve creatively as she is an explorer, painter, builder, and fashionista.  

 

Be A Star, Wonder Woman by Michael Dahl

Summary:

As a new day dawns, a young girl faces the ultimate challenge: school! Follow along as she demonstrates her greatest superpower (sharing), overcomes her worst fear (the playground), and conquers her archenemy (the spelling test). With courage, kindness, and other heroic traits of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, she’ll turn a difficult school day into an AMAZING ADVENTURE! Along with Omar Lozano’s bright, bold illustrations, bestselling author Michael Dahl (Bedtime for Batman and Good Morning, Superman) delivers an imaginative read-aloud for your littlest superheroes.

Review: I loved the Wonder Woman movie when it came out recently. But I’m not *quite* ready to show it to my 6-year-old. This book is an age-appropriate entry into Wonder Woman. Kids can easily identify with mini Wonder Woman who is having a typically tough elementary school day. She is courageous and kind, two kinds of strong I’m trying to encourage. 

Also, you can find this as a board book on Amazon.

 

Pink Is For Boys by Rob Pearlman 

Summary:

Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. 

Parents and kids will delight in Robb Pearlman’s sweet, simple script, as well as its powerful message: life is not color-coded.

Review: When I was a little girl, my favorite color was black. My daughters seem to switch favorite colors weekly and right now they love blue, glitter, green, pink, and gray. We really believe any color can be for any person and this book illustrates it beautifully with each page. Who doesn’t love a purple unicorn or orange drippy Popsicles on a summer day?! Everyone can! Kids will love seeing the different ways the colors are displayed for boys. And girls!

 

Honorable Mentions

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Growing Season by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Ella May Does It Her Way by Mick Jackson

Happy Dreamer by Peter H Reynolds

 

What are you reading with your kids right now?

2 Responses to 5 Empowering Books with Strong Female Characters for Kids

  1. Avatar
    Emma A September 30, 2019 at 9:47 pm #

    You must check out the Angela Beaty books…. Rosie Revere Engineer, Ava Twist Scientist… etc.

    Shows girls that traditionally “boy” jobs can be done by girls too! We have these for our son because we feel it’s important for him to understand that, apart from obvious body parts, there’s no gender when it comes to jobs. Currently his favorite color is pink (but we’re trying to break him of the “blue is for boys” that he’s been exposed to at Pre-K3&4.

  2. Alicia
    Alicia October 2, 2019 at 2:01 am #

    We love Rosie Revere and Ada Twist! Did you know they have Ada Twist chapter books?! We just found them at our library on post!

    I love that you share these with your son! Books are for everyone. And I love how you said there’s no gender when it comes to jobs. Agreed!

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