Presenting powerful and successful women to our children has benefits all around. Our girls can identify with the innovation, bravery, and brilliance of women who have gone before, and our young boys can determine that women, like men, are world changers. Win, Win! If we’re not careful, children can easily get the message that “pretty girls” get the cover of glossy magazines, and “clever boys” get the inside of history books. How crazy is that?! Luckily, the publishing industry has taken like gangbusters to shifting this imbalance, and provided us with some great stories of powerful women.
Here is a short list of my favorite books about real women – women worthy of respect and adoration. All of these books are clever, well crafted, handsome, and most importantly, they effectively highlight and celebrate the missing faces that have changed our world. Cheers, and Happy Reading!
Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky
This book highlights 50 women of notable influence in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Definitely some awesome trailblazers are covered – and they aren’t all necessarily modern women. As a plus, the illustrations are so freaking darling I want to explode. I would say that the text is for 7 and up (to adult). The thoroughness of the script lends itself to research rather than simple impression like the next book. Still, it is very interesting and inspiring.
Amazing Babes by Eliza Sarlos and Grace Lee
This book celebrates 20 truly diverse women (I hadn’t heard of several of them) with a wide range of accomplishments. The text is simple but compelling, and my favorite part: it was originally written as a mother’s gift to her son. Uh…sign me up. Plus they have a cute website with bonus material .
Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh and Milissa Sweet
Did you know that the inventor of Scotchgard (which my husband tells me is thusly named due to kilt-prejudice) was a woman? My husband is wrong, but this book is oh so right. Like Women in Science, its for the older child, and the illustrations are pretty sparse. There is a lot to learn though about these 29 super innovative ladies. Some of this stuff has really changed your life! I can’t keep a secret so think, hot water heaters, the bra, medical syringes, the fire escape, and the school desk. Nailed it!
Rad American Women A-Z by Katie Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
I love this book. Holy Moly. There are so many (26) incredible unsung ladies in this book, it is mind blowing. It made me wish the alphabet was longer so I could find out more. If your little one is looking to do a book report on someone that changed the world but hasn’t been covered to death, look no further. I would say ages 7 and up. Plus, I love the little surprise nugget last page, “26 things that you can do to be rad.” Spoiler alert: none of the tips are “become famous for carrying designer handbags.” Rad Women Worldwide is coming to bookstores September 27, 2016!
I have covered mostly books for older kids, and I don’t want to neglect our young ones! These books are more classically “picture books.” They are simple, cute, informative, and empowering. Each has a serious message that is relayed in the sweetest of terms. My daughter (3 yo) really enjoys them and the illustrations are perfect. You won’t go wrong starting this collection.
This post was written by Katie, from A Friendly Affair. Katie is a clinical psychologist, picture book enthusiast, and all around fun person. She is passionate about helping parents and teachers connect to their kids through reading, understanding, and play. You can check out her fantastic Instagram feed here.