Happy International Women's Day! A day that is loaded with historical injustice, but also filled with celebratory milestones. Today, (and everyday), let's celebrate all the awesome things that make us women.
As I always say, the right picture book can help open up important conversations between kiddos and adults. In honour of International Women's Day, here are a few standout picture books that showcase strong females.
She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton & Alexandra Boiger
She Persisted Around the World is an important depiction of female empowerment throughout history. Against the odds, each real-life female character demonstrates the persistent drive to conquer their dreams. Women like Malala Yousafzai, Marie Curie and J.K. Rowling are featured in a truly inspiring way. I also appreciate the diversity and global aspects of storytelling in this book. An important historical read for primary grades.
Bob the Builder: Wendy Saves the Day! by Elizabeth Milton
The Bob the Builder series might seem like a strange choice at first, but it incorporates a strong female lead character in many of the stories. Wendy - the strong female contractor is always ready to get the job done. Construction jobs aren't only for males...and Wendy proves that everyday! A light-hearted story for little readers, and a great way to show that gender doesn't define your career choices.
Hawk Eyes by J.L. W
Hawk Eyes tells the story of a little girl, Lulu, who discovers her bravery and the power of perspective. The story immediately breaks down stereotypical gender roles by portraying Lulu's dad at home, and her mom away on a work trip. Little readers will relate to Lulu's feelings of missing a parent, and learn a valuable lesson of inner strength. A cute story with a strong female lead and an important lesson in the end.
Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paris Rosenthal & Holly Hatam
Dear Girl, is a tribute to little girls and all the wonderful things that make them who they are. The storytelling is smart, engaging and powerful. From the very first page, little girls are reminded that they are strong, beautiful and wonderful. Page 1..."Dear Girl, Keep that arm raised! You have smart things to say!" I agree ;)
Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner
The Pink Hat delivers an interesting ending that can lead to dialogue around activism. Little readers are introduced to a pink wooly hat that gets passed through a cat, baby, dog and little girl. In the end, the hat is worn by a little girl who stumbles into the Women's March. Although the book doesn't dive deeply into the significance of the Women's March, it provides a gateway to start the conversation with your littles.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts
Ada Twist, Scientist is a charming book filled with imaginative questions and clever answers. If you have curious little ones at home, (like myself), this will be a hit on your bookshelves. I love the diverse and strong female lead in this book, as well as the rhyming style of writing. It's important for little ones to see themselves in stories, and I think this book does a fantastic job of showing diversity, breaking down gender stereotypes and expanding children's scientific knowledge.
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts
Another Andrea Beaty classic, Rosie Revere, Engineer, does a fantastic job showcasing a brilliant little girl who is well on her way to becoming a successful engineer. Through Rosie's efforts to build her aunt a flying contraption, little readers learn a lesson of working hard, dealing with mishaps, and ultimately, not giving up. A great book with another strong female lead and important moral message.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
The Name Jar makes a great addition to classrooms, libraries and at-home bookshelves. The story follows Unhei - a Korean girl who has just moved to America and is new to her school. Worried that her Korean name won't be accepted by her classmates, the story unfolds with a "name jar" that has everyone choosing different names for Unhei. In the end, Unhei's classmates discover her real name and celebrate its unique meaning. A great choice that features a strong diverse female character, and celebrates culture, uniqueness and acceptance.
Sky Sisters by Jan Bourdeau Waboose & Brian Deines
Sky Sisters tells the story of two sisters who embark on a magical adventure to see the Northern Lights. You are transported into beautiful illustrations that showcase unwavering sisterhood, Aboriginal culture and majestic nature. It's nice to see a strong depiction of sisterhood, as well as Aboriginal representation in this breathtaking picture book.
Little People, Big Dreams Book Series
The Little People, Big Dreams book series offers all kinds of engaging books that feature important females throughout history. These cute mini biographies can help start conversations about powerful women like Amelia Earhart, Coco Chanel, Frida, Marie Curie and Maya Angelou. These books are simply written and age-appropriate for little readers who are learning about history.
Cheers to women all around the world, and as always...happy reading!