Who doesn't love to cozy up with their little one and a favorite book? As an on-hiatus kindergarten teacher, I'm kind of obsessed with reading and literacy. My mom read to me every night as a kid. Some of my favorite books to this day ("Number the Stars" and "Trumpet of the Swan") were read aloud to me by my mom. I now love reading non-fiction novels. I'm already working on fostering Mary Clare's love for reading. We read to her every night as part of her bedtime routine. I look forward to sharing my favorite stories with her. And I really can't wait to watch her develop her own favorites and share them with me!
In graduate school, I learned a lot about the kinds of books children should be exposed to. It's important for children to be exposed to books that are inclusive of a variety of cultures, socio-economic groups, races and family structures. Also, children should see themselves in the books they read. So I've been working on getting books into Mary Clare's library with a variety of characters and stories.
It's especially important to me that there are a number of books with strong female characters, not just princesses and fairies, To be clear, I love princesses and fairies and welcome them with open arms. Again, I just want a variety of female roles. The ultimate goal is that she knows she can be a princess, a doctor, a superhero or whatever her little heart desires.
So here are some of my favorite books with inspiring, unique females that live their truth!
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans: This enduring classic is an all time favorite of mine. Madeline is one brave petit girl. The scariest things, even going to the hospital, are a grand adventure for Madeline. What a way to go through life!
My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston: This little known book is lovely tale based on true story about the author's great aunt. Arizona is a woman who lived a quiet yet meaningful life. This story teaches girls to see the wonder in the ordinary.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch: This is a story I discovered only when I became a teacher. Elizabeth isn't your typical princess. She is determined and clever. She saves herself from the dragon and won't take any crap from the prince!
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo: This book contains 100 bedtime stories written in the style of fairytales that tell about real women, past and present, that changed the world. This book will leave your little one dreaming of all the amazing things she will do!
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton: I saw this book in the store when I was pregnant and thought, if I have a girl she definitely needs this book! This book is all about women who persevered in the face of adversity. Perseverance is something I can already see in my little girl and will encourage always!
Eloise by Kay Thompson: Eloise is another childhood favorite of mine. Eloise is an opinionated girl that lives in the Plaza Hotel. She is precocious and sure of herself. This classic story will make you and your little girl laugh time and time again
Here is a link to 21 picture books about strong girls. There are many I am not familiar with so I cannot speak to whether or not I like them but definitely worth a look! I'll be checking some of them out the next time I am browsing the bookstore. Which likely won't be for a while seeing as I have a 16 week old!
What are some of your favorite children's books? How did you choose books for your little one's library? Happy Reading!