All genders deserve the same rights, respect, and opportunities - it's important for kids to learn this as early as possible. Feminist books designed especially for children are a great way to introduce little ones to the idea of equality and help them to understand how to express themselves without feeling restricted by traditional gender roles.
We've put together a buying guide to help you choose the best feminist book for your child, followed by our top 10 favourites to buy at Amazon and eBay. From fictional picture books for toddlers to inspirational real-life stories for older kids, our recommendations will offer love and support to children of all gender identities - plus they make a wonderful gift for any occasion!
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Below is our guide to picking an excellent book to help your child learn more about feminism and gender-related topics. We've divided it into simple sections, making it quick and easy to find the right book for your family.
Non-fiction books will teach your children about feminism in a factual way, such as discussing important historical figures in feminism and providing useful information on the fight for equal rights.
Your kids are bound to enjoy fictional books too, especially at bedtime. Look out for longer tales that you can read aloud as they drift off to sleep. Whatever your child's age, you can fill bedtime - and their dreams - with fascinating characters and inspirational stories.
Feminism covers a range of topics, so think about which ideas you'd like to introduce your child to through books. You might want to focus on gender stereotypes, women's empowerment, or useful vocabulary for promoting equality and progressive attitudes.
Books that specifically challenge gender stereotypes are a brilliant resource for teaching children about inequality and accessibility. For example, books that discuss traditionally gendered careers and colours will inspire kids to be themselves and pursue their dreams, in spite of societal pressure.
Stories featuring trans characters (those who identify as a different gender from the one assigned to them at birth) or non-binary individuals (those who don't feel like they fit into a particular gender category) not only help children to think critically about gender but will allow some readers to see themselves reflected in literature.
Both non-fiction and fiction books that celebrate the existence and joy of girls, boys, and non-binary kids will encourage little ones to be open-minded and break down the restrictive gender stereotypes that they might come across elsewhere.
Reading with or to your child about successful people may encourage them to aim for similar goals. Books about women who have achieved success in fields traditionally dominated by men are perfect for girls who are budding scientists, writers, or politicians. Similarly, kids of all genders will be inspired by books about girls who have made a huge impact despite their young age.
While celebrating the achievements of those who identify as women is an important part of feminism, we should teach kids about masculinity too. Reading about men who have accomplished great things whilst rejecting stereotypically masculine roles is equally as important - it's another way to show children that wherever they fit on the gender spectrum, their identity is valid and worthy of respect.
Fairy tales have historically promoted fixed gender roles which limit characters and reinforce stereotypes. The idea of the princess in distress who can only be rescued by her knight in shining armour can influence young minds so strongly that they might hold onto these gendered beliefs for life.
Some lesser-told tales do promote equality and female empowerment though, so it's definitely worth buying a collection of these for a new perspective that will inspire your little one to be the hero of their own story!
It's said that children only truly understand a concept when they have the language to talk about it for themselves. With this in mind, opting for a book that focuses on feminist vocabulary will help to equip youngsters with the words they need to talk about fairness, equality, and compassion.
Toddlers and younger children will find picture books with eye-catching illustrations and basic terms useful, while older children will benefit from learning more complex vocabulary.
Another key factor to consider when shopping for a feminist book for children is your little one's age. Regardless of whether your child will be exploring this book alone or with your support, it's vital to keep their development level in mind.
As we mentioned earlier, picture books with minimal text are perfect for toddlers and younger kids, because they introduce concepts without being overwhelming. They can practice reading slowly and absorb a valuable message at the same time.
For older children or those with a higher reading age, longer texts build a more comprehensive picture of a famous figure or an interesting issue. Growing children have an amazing capacity for new ideas and knowledge, so celebrate this by choosing books that'll challenge your child. Before you know it, they'll be teaching you!
Hardcover books tend to be a practical pick for busy families with younger kids, as objects can get bashed around, chewed on, and torn by troublesome toddlers! Although they're bulky and slightly heavier than a paperback, the sturdy cover and reinforced spine mean they can withstand rough treatment and should last longer.
Paperback children's books are lightweight, so they're ideal for travelling - especially if they're going into a bag or suitcase to be carried by a child. They're also flexible enough to squish into packed school bags to keep older kids entertained at lunchtime.
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F is for Feminism: An Alphabet Book of Empowerment
Cheerfully Illustrated Vocabulary for Change
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
Poems Documenting the Achievements of Exceptional Young Women
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
Introduces Your Child to Brilliant Women of All Backgrounds
Julian is a Mermaid
A Heartfelt Tale About Gender Freedom
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
All About Women Scientists Throughout History
Kai Cheng Thom, Wai-Yant Li, and Kai Yung Ching
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
A Stunning Celebration of Non-Binary Kids
Forgotten Fairy Tales of Brave and Brilliant Girls
Tales to Inspire and Empower Youngsters
Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different
True Stories of Defying Traditional Masculinity
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World
Dismantles Stereotypes of Gender and Race
Eda Kaban and Robb Pearlman
Pink Is for Boys
Beautifully Illustrates That Colours Are for Everyone, Regardless of Gender
This alphabetised glossary of activist vocabulary is a wonderful way to introduce little ones to the importance of equal rights and empowerment. It promotes diversity too, featuring illustrated characters of all gender identities, religions, and racial backgrounds.
This book will suit a variety of ages - youngsters will love the kaleidoscope colours and pictures, while older kids can use the vocabulary to boost their confidence when talking about matters of equality. For these reasons, it's our top pick!
The stories of the 14 young women featured in this book - told in the form of poetry - are a fantastic way to educate your kids about different backgrounds and lifestyles, inspiring them to go out and make changes in the world.
The poems in this excellent compendium are ideal for reading aloud at bedtime or to a group of knowledge-hungry kids if you're a teacher. Explore the exceptional lives of activists, artists, and astronauts through compelling rhythm and ear-catching rhyme - plenty of fun for all the family!
As the title suggests, this superb book is designed to be read at bedtime. It contains 100 stories about aspirational women who found joy in the face of adversity and defied the odds to lead a successful life.
Each story is accompanied by an illustration from a different artist, making this book a real aesthetic treat. It's also a New York Times bestseller and has received high praise from online reviewers. If you're after some uplifting and enjoyable tales to share with your kids, look no further!
This book introduces and honours the fact that gender can be fluid and boys can be mermaids if they want to. The love of Julian's abuela (grandmother) encourages him to explore, rather than shy away from, his identity - a beautiful, heartfelt message that will appeal to youngsters.
Although this book would work well at bedtime, we'd say that the illustrations are central to the story - so it's probably best saved for reading together at a time when your little one won't drift off halfway through!
Though work is being done to address the gender imbalance in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths), there's still a way to go in terms of seeing those who identify as women studying and excelling in such fields.
This book, which is full of fantastic illustrations and a bouncy, handwritten-style font, celebrates women in science who have made game-changing discoveries and brilliant innovations. We reckon children of all genders will love the surprising statistics and eye-brow raising tales included in this informative book.
This book helps parents to introduce children to the idea of non-binary gender identity, using stunning watercolour art and charming language. Kids will absolutely adore the main character, Miu Lan, whose spirit and imagination is wonderfully endearing.
What's so lovely about this book is the relationship between Miu Lan and their mother, whose unquestioning love and understanding allow her child to live their most confident life. Just as educational for parents as it is for kids, this book is incredibly powerful and moving.
The typical fairy tales that many of us grew up with tended to feature rather depressing gender stereotypes, with girls playing passive and uninspiring roles - but you won't find that here!
This collection of less well-known fables and fairy stories introduces female characters who reject traditional gender roles, acting as heroes rather than objects of beauty or damsels needing to be rescued. An empowering option for bedtime reading!
We should all encourage children of any gender to embrace both femininity and masculinity in their varied forms. This lovely collection of stories is designed to show that being "masculine" needn't mean killing dragons (as the tagline mentions.)
Packed with striking illustrations, this book provides accounts of famous men who achieved greatness without resorting to aggression or other stereotypically male traits. Featuring Dynamo, Dali, and David Attenborough, it celebrates the many ways in which one can "be a man".
Historical female figures like Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and Frida Kahlo are examined in detail in this accessible paperback. Confident readers will enjoy dipping in and out of it for fun, or it can be used as inspiration for school projects.
Probably the best thing about this book is the layout - paragraphs of captivating text are arranged at jaunty angles across a double page decorated with quirky illustrations.
First up is this beautifully illustrated book with an extremely simple yet important message: that colours have no gender. The minimal text allows the pictures to take prominence, so it can be enjoyed by children as young as a year old. We love the diverse cast of characters, who are cheerful and relatable for kids of all backgrounds.
As it's a hardcover, this book could probably withstand even the most tumultuous of tantrums. Unfortunately though, it's rather expensive for such a short read of only 40 pages.
If you'd like even more ideas for books to read with your children, why not have a browse through our carefully curated lists? At the links below, you can find a variety of fantastic books that you'll want to come back to again and again!
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide to the best books for guiding your child through feminism and gender-related topics. We hope that you'll enjoy exploring these stories and reference books together, and that your little one will learn lots about the important message of equality!
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1：Carolyn Suzuki ｜F is for Feminism: An Alphabet Book of Empowerment
No. 2：Susan Hood｜Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
No. 3：Elena Favilli｜Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
No. 4：Jessica Love｜Julian is a Mermaid
No. 5：Rachel Ignotofsky｜Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
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