By hearing about girls who face real life issues such as sadness, oppression, friend drama, and fear, we can perhaps investigate our own experiences and grow. Here’s a list of books to enjoy with your daughter that will certainly leave them feeling empowered!
Raising an abundantly confident girl isn’t always easy, especially in a world where impossible standards for beauty are plastered across our screens. However, you can easily start conversations about why it’s great to be a girl by reading stories that feature strong female protagonists. By hearing about girls who face real life issues such as sadness, oppression, friend drama, and fear, we can perhaps investigate our own experiences and grow. Here’s a list of books to enjoy with your daughter that will certainly leave them feeling empowered!
I Like Myself is the story of a little girl who, you guessed it, likes herself, regardless if she has “beaver breath, stinky toes, or horns protruding from [her] nose.” Told through silly rhymes and rich illustrations, I Like Myself teaches us that no matter what we look like, or what others think about it, what really matters is how we feel about ourselves on the inside.
It’s no mystery that girls can be exceptionally mean to one another, especially in a school setting. While you can’t dictate the actions of someone else, you can always dictate how it affects you. Two of a Kind tells the story of Julisa and Anna, two best friends whose friendship is jeopardized when two other girls challenge them for being different. They experience their first encounter with “playground drama”, and stand their ground by staying true to themselves and their friendship.
I Am Truly tells the story of a “strong and studious” little girl who believes she can be anything she wants to be. Although the story is about “Truly”, it’s told in first person, which pulls you into the story as you read. By the end, you’ll believe that you can do anything too!
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink teaches us that there’s no right way to be a princess. According to Yolen, princesses can “skip and dance in tattered, stained, and muddy pants” or “break their nails planting flowers into pails, driving dump trucks, moving dirt, dressed in an extra-large hand-me-down shirt.” Books like these are especially important, especially with the inflation of the “pretty princess” narrative, which can be constricting for girls who may not identify with that type of character. What I like about this book specifically, however, is that it doesn’t promote one side versus another. You can play baseball, make messes, and run around in the muddy grass, all the while wearing a princess crown. You don’t have to choose being a “Tomboy” or “Girly Girl”, but can instead have multiple aspects to who you are, which is huge for little people who are forming their identities.
There are so many things I could say about this book—but I will spare you all the wordy details and simply encourage you to pick it up as soon as possible. Dear Girl says everything you could possibly want to say to your daughter, from reminding her "it’s okay to stop and dance," to encouraging her to “listen to her brave side”. For me, the most powerful part of the reading experience in this book is that it’s not just going to benefit your daughter, but you as well. This book tells us things that we all need to hear, and the way that Rosenthal marries these two experiences with the twist at the end will be sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.