Girl Power in Picture Books

White Plains is a wonderfully diverse community! Parents, children and teens have expressed an interest in titles that reflect the diversity in the community, and Ashley, Kathlyn, and Raquel's “Dive Into Diversity” column will spotlight noteworthy children's and teen titles that are inclusive, diverse and multicultural to fulfill that interest. Raquel's portion is aimed at readers up to Grade 3.

A good web resource for book ideas to celebrate Women’s History Month is the A Mighty Girl website, which “features over 3,000 girl-empowering books.” Here are a few of the great picture books for young readers to celebrate Women’s History Month:

Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes and even better! – Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure
by Eva Chen & Derek Desierto
“When Juno looks for her own missing shoes, she finds a magical realm where she can wear the shoes of influential women such as Serena Williams, Jane Goodall, Lady Gaga, and Misty Copeland. This lighthearted story provides exuberant glimpses into the style and accomplishments of some famous women.” – Horn Book Guide

Grace for President
by Kelly DiPucchio & LeUyen Pham
“When her teacher displays a poster of all the American presidents, Grace asks with alarm, ‘Where are the girls?' Dismayed to learn that there have been no women, she announces that she will run for president someday. Mrs. Barrington proposes that she practice by running for president of the elementary school, and the race is on.”- School Library Journal

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
by Heather Gale & Mika Song
“In this picture book based on a true story, a nonbinary youth finds her place as a hula warrior…Through every challenge and doubt, Ho’onani ‘[holds] her place. Strong, sure, and steady.’ Her strength and bravery lead her to find her place as a hula warrior.”- Kirkus

Lucía the Luchadora
by Cynthia Leonor Garza & Alyssa Bermudez
“Who says girls can't be superheroes? Wearing her long red cape, Lucía goes POW and BAM better than the rest. The brown-skinned Latina's a daredevil on the playground, leaping from the top of the monkey bars and conquering that dreaded dark, swirly slide. But: “Girls can't be superheroes,” say the boys that refuse to play with her. Lucía doesn't give in to their taunts…Garza shines in her children's debut..” – Kirkus

Girls Can Do Anything
by Caryl Hart & Ali Pye
“Empowerment rocks!…This title catalogs the myriad possibilities that exist in being female and the varied activities that girls do…Leaves no doubts that girls are to be cheered on and reckoned with.” – Kirkus

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family
by Ibtihaj Muhammad, S.K. Ali & Hatem Aly
“This excellent story about identity, visibility, and confidence, touches on rites of passage, bonds between sisters, and bullying and is unapologetic in tackling misconceptions and demanding equality.” – School Library Journal

Mary Wears What She Wants
By Keith Negley
“Negley’s strong-minded heroine is loosely based on Mary Edwards Walker, a trailblazing female physician born in 1832 who was ‘arrested repeatedly' for wearing trousers…Sometimes all it takes is one courageous person to challenge the rules: to the girl’s delight, other girls embrace wearing pants, too. Back matter provides a photo of Walker along with brief biographical content.” – Publishers Weekly

Susan Laughs
by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross
“Through simple rhyming phrases, readers learn about the many things that a young redheaded girl can do: ‘Susan trots,/Susan rows,/Susan paints,/Susan throws.' With great color and movement, the pencil-and-crayon illustrations depict this spirited child in her everyday world…By the end of the story, children will identify completely with Susan, who is ‘through and through-/just like me, just like you,' even if she happens to use a wheelchair” – School Library Journal

Astro Girl
by Ken Wilson-Max
“Young Astrid is adamant about her ambitions to become an astronaut. During their day together, Dad reminds her of the challenges: ‘You'll have to go round and round the Earth in your spaceship' as he spins her around the room. ‘You'll also have to get used to zero gravity.' Papa threw her up in the air. ‘I can do that all day long!' Astrid laughed.'” – School Library Journal

Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Evergreen, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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