I am addicted to books. I love reading them, and I love giving them. I think they are the best of all gifts. Being a mother of two children, we come across a lot of opportunities to buy books for other children. Birthday parties are a fact of life when you live in the world of children. SO MANY BIRTHDAY PARTIES. It being the holiday season, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite books for young girls.
The books I chose to share here are all picture books with beautiful illustrations, I didn’t even touch chapter books. I also didn’t include my favorite book, You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer, because I recently reviewed it at Bucktooth Mama. A lot of these I found through the Amelia Bloomer project, which is a list compiled every year of feminist literature for readers from birth to age 18.
1. Girls A to Z: My Daughters loved this book when they were 1 and 2 years old. Each page features a picture of a girl, her name and what she likes to pretend to be. Beginning with Aliki is an Astronaut & ending with Zoe’s zoo’s well known. I had this book memorized for a number of years, as my girls wanted to read it constantly. It’s a great way to talk about fun jobs and the alphabet too!
2. The Paper Bag Princess: This book was recommended to us when my oldest daughter entered the princess tunnel. It is a fabulous antidote to all of the sugary sweet princesses out there. Understand that I love a good fluffy and frilly princess as much as the next girl, but in all things, I always strive to teach balance to my children. In this story, Elizabeth, who is a sweet princess, is at the altar marrying a prince when a dragon steps in and changes the whole outcome of the tried and true tale. Elizabeth takes it upon herself to solve the problem, and while it’s a happy ending, things don’t end up exactly as princess stories often do.
3. Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote: I am a HUGE Elizabeth Cady Stanton fan, so this book really hit the spot with me. I love talking with my girls about the history of women, and this is a great book with lovely illustrations that allows me to do just that.
4. Two of our very favorite books are Pirate Girl & The Princess Knight, both written by Cornelia Funke (of course I ALWAYS think of Tobias Funke when I read her last name and then I get my head in a totally different place, but that is neither here nor there). Pirate Girl is the story of a girl who outsmarts a band of pirates and happens to be related to some pretty kick ass women as well. The Princess Knight is the story of a girl who longs to study the things her brothers do and when she does, she is amazing at them all. They are now selling a collection of both of these stories and one more in the book: A Princess, A Pirate, And One Wild Brother: A Storybook Collection by New York Times Bestselling Author Cornelia Funke
5. Kate and the Beanstalk: Instead of a listless lazy ol’ Jack climbing up the beanstalk and stealing from the giant, Mary Pope Osborne gives us the bright and brave Kate who conquers the beanstalk and the giant to retrieve the items she and her family own.
6. Grace for President: I have a confession to make, I love LeUyen Pham. Her illustrations make me so happy. Grace for President has the double whammy of being illustrated by her, and being a fabulous story written by Kelly S. DiPucchio. Grace is an elementary school student who longs to be president one day. She inspires her class to have an election. The story of how she and her opponent campaign is great. The book talks about the electoral college and choosing someone based on their abilities, not their gender. This is a must have for any child’s library.
7. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women: This book is for those with a longer attention span. It still has a few pictures, but is a bit wordier. This book takes items we use everyday and tells us about the women who invented them. It’s a great book to talk about how all the items we use everyday were invented by someone, and how some of those someones just happen to be women.
8. Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought): Again, I am a total history nerd, and I love sharing that with my children. This book is for older readers, or children with longer attention spans, but the mini biographies inside are worth the time. Subjects range from Eleanor Roosevelt to Wilma Mankiller to Joan of Arc.