Six Books Celebrating Strong Girls

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a strong girl. Moreover, I’ve been thinking about how to raise a strong girl. Because I believe picture books can begin to teach Penelope about herself and the world, I’ve recently been choosing to read books that celebrate strong girls.

Being a strong girl can mean different things to different people. I chose the below children’s books because they emphasize self love, confidence, and the notion that girls can do and be anything.

Six Books Celebrating Strong Girls


The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

I hate to play favorites because there are so many great books celebrating strong girls, but this book is absolutely my favorite. Why? Because it totally flips the script on the traditional fairy tale. This book is about a princess who rescues the prince. Then, she realizes the prince is a bum. She lives happily ever after all by herself. Boom. Go, girl.

I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont

This sweet rhyming story is an example of the self-esteem movement gone right.

Inside, outside, upside down / from head to toe and all around, / I like it all! It all is me! / And me is all I want to be.

Someday by Eileen Spinelli

A dear friend gave me this book as a baby shower gift. It’s about a little girl who envisions all the things she can be someday — an artist, a paleontologist, an ambassador of world peace, a scientist, an Olympic athlete!

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ok, I am totally obsessed with all three of the books in this series by Andrea Beaty.ย Major props for her emphasis upon STEM, diversity,ย and her crazy good rhyme schemes. I also highly recommend Rosie Revere, Engineer as another girl power-themed book that you and your little one will love.

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

Penelope just started learning about princesses and this annoys me to no end. I blame the dentist, who gave her a Princess-themed toothbrush. So while she runs around in a tutu saying, “I’m a princess,” I readย her anti-princess books like this one. In this story, Olivia bemoans her classmates’ princess infatuation, deciding there are so many more interesting things to be. She could be a nurse, she could adopt orphans from around the world, she could be a reporter who exposes corporate malfeasance…

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History by Kate Schatz

Ok, so this is more of an adult book than a children’s book. Penelope and I read this one to further cement her alphabetic knowledge, but it’s a tad too sophisticated for her to comprehend in the same way she comprehends Paper Bag Princess.ย But I highly recommend this book for the rad women in your life or as a fun read when you need a reminder that we are all capable of greatness.