Children learn by example, and when it comes to connecting concepts to reality, books are often the key. Whether it’s Women’s History month or routine bedtime stories, it’s always a great time to teach your kids about female leaders and equality. Read on for our favorite children’s books about Women’s History.
I am Marie Curie
The 19th book in the "Ordinary People Change the World" series is all about Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. A physicist and chemist, Curie is featured in adorable illustrations as she attends the Flying University and begins her own science experiments at the young age of 18, to her meeting with the President of the United States.
Find it on Amazon for $14.39.
My First Book of Feminism (for Boys)
"Play dress-up or wrestle. Make art. Play with toys! Games are not made for just girls or just boys." This board book with rhyming text and sweet illustrations cover topics of essential equality that we promise you will enjoy reading to your tots, and we think older kids will benefit from this message too. From "no means no," to "women's rights are human rights," important, grownup ideas are made clear and fun for young, impressionable minds. This is the book every parent should read to her son.
Available Nov. 6 on Amazon. Get it here. $8.28
Be Bold, Baby: Sonia Sotomayor
This month's Be Bold, Baby series releases include spotlights on Sonia Sotomayor and J.K. Rowling. These board books will teach your kids resilience, patience and fairness like these female leaders. Each book ends with a special message (and cool mirror): just be you.
Ages: baby to 3 years old
Available on amazon.com for $9.99
An ABC of Equality
It's never too early to teach kids about empathy, kindness and acceptance. This board book by Chana Ginelle Ewing, the Founder and CEO of Geenie, a women's empowerment platform, makes learning about concepts like gender, immigration and ability accessible to even the youngest of readers. Flip through the colorful pages to find letters like D is for difference or J is for justice explained in a way anyone can grasp. For any parent hoping to teach their child about multiculturalism and acceptance, this book is for you.
Ages: 3+ (as recommended on Amazon but this book is suited for any reader)
Available on amazon.com for $14.99
The Only Woman in the Photo
"When someone opens a door to you, go forward." Young Frances Perkins spent her life heeding the wise words her grandmother taught her as a little girl. Kathleen Krull's The Only Woman in the Photo tells the story of Frances Perkins, the first woman to ever sit on a presidential cabinet. Perkins became Franklin D. Roosevelt's trusted advisor, and it is Perkins you can thank for such things as child labor laws, unemployment insurance and social security. Illustrations by Alexandra Bye bring the life and times of this persistent, fearless trailblazer to life.
Get it here. $13.39
Gloria Takes a Stand
This picture-book retelling of Gloria Steinem is as inspiring as it is enjoyable to read. The perfect, abbreviated biography written by Jessica M. Rinker is beautifully illustrated by Daria Peoples-Riley and offers kids a summary of the important events that shaped Steinem's childhood and lead her down the path of changing women's rights, and changing the world.
Find it now, $12.75
Women Artists A to Z
This alphabet book stars women artists including iconic painters like Georgia O’Keefe and Frida Kahlo but also puts the spotlight on lesser-known artists like Mirka Mora, Judith Leyster and more. Each page has a short explanation of the works that define each artist (for example, legendary photographer Dorthea Lange is X is for EXposure), and if older kids want to learn more, the back pages have extended biographies. Beautiful illustrations complete this lovely picture book that's bookshelf worthy.
Buy it here, $13.39
She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein
Written by Lynn Fulton with fab illustrations by Felicita Sala, She Made a Monster pays tribute to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the literary genius who brought the world Frankenstein. It was 200 years ago when Shelley gave birth to this infamous monster, and this book will let the young audience know not only the significance of writing it, but how important it is to follow one’s own dream.
Shop it now. $12.32
A Computer Called Katherine
African-Americans didn't have the same rights as others, and Katherine Johnson knew that was wrong. As wrong as 5+5=12. And in A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon Katherine fights for equality as she surpassed her classmates and went on to make history by helping NASA to put Americ'as first manned flight into space and the world's first trip to the moon.
Malala's Magic Pencil
As if Malala Yousafzai isn’t accomplished enough, the 20-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is about to release her first children’s picture book! This is the story of Malala’s Magic Pencil, based on Malala’s own childhood wish to have a magic pencil that would “make everyone happy,” and could “erase the smell of garbage from her city.” As she grew older she learned that she would need more than a magic pencil to initiate change, and this book explores every person's power to change the world through strength of character and determination. Illustrated by
Order a copy.$9.99
Parker Looks Up
Written by Parker Curry (age 4) and her mama, Jessica Curry, with an afterword by Michelle Obama. Illustrated by Brittany Jackson. This is the sweet story of Parker Curry, a young girl, who went to the National Portrait Gallery one afternoon with her mom. She saw prancing horse, blooming flowers, a bushy mustache...but before she went twirling off toward home, Parker Curry looked up. There on the wall she saw the magnificent portrait (by Amy Sherald) of Michelle Obama. Parker didn't just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen, a woman with regality, beauty, truth and self-assurance, a woman who looked like her. This moving story will delight any young dreamer. A great addition to any home library or classroom.
Available here. $12.79
Women in Art: 50 Fearless Creatives Who Inspired the World
This beautifully illustrated anthology of women artists from Rachel Ignotofsky, author of the New York Times bestseller Women in Science, features 50 pioneering female artists; some you'll recognize (Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keefe) and some you'll never want to forget (19th-century African American quilter Harriet Powers and Hopi-Tewa ceramic artist Nampeyo). For any kid out there with a love of art or history or both, this book is a gorgeous addition to any shelf. Makes a great classroom gift too!
Ages: All ages; Probably best for 5 and up
Get yours here, $12.99
Greta and the Giants
Written in allegory form by Zoë Tucker with gorgeous illustrations by Zoe Persico, this picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg and her global movement to raise awareness about the climate crisis. Greta lives in a beautiful forest, threatened by Giants who chop down trees to make their homes. Then they chop down more trees, to make bigger houses, leaving little forest left. But Greta has an idea...
Includes a back section that helps kids learn how they can help Greta in her fight. Printed sustainably on 100% recycled paper.
Get it here $17.99
A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks
Celebrate the life and voice of poet Gwendolyn Brooks with this thoughtful story that combines both Brooks' legacy with her life story. Known for being one of the most foremost poets on the Black experience and the role of women in society, Gwendolyn Brooks went from a young child writing all the time to becoming the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize and authoring 20 books of poetry, two autobiographies and one novel. Celebrated author and children's librarian Alice Faye Duncan makes Brooks come to life on the page for the young reader.
Ages: 5 and up
$16.95. Find a copy here.
Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
In 1966 Bobbi Gibb changed history by running in the Boston Marathon, despite being told that she couldn’t, because women weren’t allowed. This powerful new book takes you on an illustrated journey alongside brave Bobbi Gibb, from a girl who loved to run to a woman who defied and altered history forever.
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Micha Archer
Available now. $12.79
If you like this book, you’ll also love The Girl Who Ran.
The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague
This story introduces readers to Raye Montague, a hidden mastermind who made a huge impact in the U.S. Navy. When she was growing up in the 1940s, Raye decided to become an engineer. A culture of sexism and racial inequality challenged her plans but never deterred her from accomplishing her dream.
Available at amazon.com, $17.99.
Greta's Story: The Schoolgirl Who Went on Strike to Save the Planet
This chapter-book chronicles the incredibly timely and motivating true story of young Greta Thunberg and the global movement she has inspired. This young-readers' (unofficial) biography educates adults too on the eco-activist and what we can all do to help save the planet. Written by Italian writer Valentina Camerini and translated and illustrated by Morena Givannoni.
Order here, $17.99
The Start Up Squad
Brian Weisfield founded The Startup Squad to inspire young girls to become entrepreneurs and this book is the first in a series that all featured strong female characters creating their own companies. In the first one, released May 7, Brian Weisfeld and co-author Nicole C. Kear introduce readers to Theresa ("Resa" for short) and her entry into the lemonade stand competition. While the main characters are girls, our editor's 8-year-old son read this and was inspired to start his own store—so we encourage parents of both genders to give this cool new series a try.
Order it now for $7.99 paperback, $9.99 hardcover.
Folktales for Fearless Girls
Before Hermione and Katniss, there were brilliant queens, clever villagers and brave girls who were saving the world around them—even if you’ve never heard their stories. Now is their chance to shine in this lovely collection of folktales from China, Russia, Persia, India, France, Germany and more. These strong protagonists are ideal role models for young girls.
Reserve your copy here, $16.99
Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice
This graphic novel will enlighten tween, teen and grown-up alike with the story of how RBG grew from a shy little girl to the Supreme Court. Written by NY Times bestselling author Debbie Levy, and illustrated by Whitney Gardner (Fake Blood).
Ages: 10 and up
Find your copy here, $12.99
Marie Curie : A Graphic History of the World's Most Famous Female Scientist
Part of the Great Lives series from B.E.S. publishing, this year brought us both the Marie Curie edition along with Albert Einstein, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. and Leonardo DiVinici. We loved this well-written account by Agnieszka Biskup illustrated by Sonia Leong, that recounts the key events in Curie's life, the challenges she faced being a woman in a male-dominated field, how she discovered two radioactive elements and ultimately became revered by her peers. Such a cool way for kids to learn history!
Find it here, $12.99
What Every Young Girl Should Know
This historical novel by J. Albert Mann is based on the life of Margaret Sanger, a young activist for women's health and the founder of Planned Parenthood. The novel explores the early years of Sanger's life as she dealt with adversity to forge her own path: she grew up poor at a time when women had the choice of being wives and mothers, whose career choice was teacher (and that was usually just until you got married). But Sanger did none of the above and this spirited imaging of what her life was like will encourage children of all genders to go their own way.
Ages: 14 and up
Find it here, $18.99
featured image: iStock