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Feminist children’s books

(39 Posts)
SugarOrSweetenerWithTheTea Mon 04-May-20 06:50:28

Can I have some recommendations of books for my 5 year old? (For me to read to her)
Apparently goodnight stories for rebel girls has a boy in it. Daring to use the girls toilets hmm

OP’s posts: |
1066vegan Mon 04-May-20 06:55:07

The paperbag princess (Robert Munsch) and the tough princess (Martin Waddell) are both good for a 5 year old.

FiddlefigOnTheRoof Mon 04-May-20 07:26:12

Princess Smartypants

PhoenixBuchanan Mon 04-May-20 07:38:33

I don't really like didactic children's books (even when it comes to feminism!) but a few of that "type" we have are:
-Rosie Revere, Engineer (or anything in that series)
-Interstellar Cinderella
-Pearl Power
-How the Library not the Prince Saved Rapunzel

I do love the Paper Bag Princess, and Little Red by Bethan Woolvin. But mainly I favour books that avoid gender stereotypes, but aren't necessarily "feminist". My 5 year old loves the Katie Morag books and I love old Shirley Hughes from the 80s.

Lowhum Mon 04-May-20 22:20:40

The Girls by Lauren Ace. Lovely picture book for a 5 year old about girls who ‘grow into women’ and live different lives but stay friends. It is subtle in its messages, so up to you as a parent to discuss the story as in depth as you would like.
It is diverse but I wouldn’t consider it woke.

northender Mon 04-May-20 22:22:41

I loved reading Katie Morag books with dd at that age

northender Mon 04-May-20 22:23:51

And agree with Phoenix re picking books low on gender stereotyping

StillWeRise Mon 04-May-20 22:30:34

ah yes, Katie Morag
there's a great pic of her mum casually breastfeeding in one book. And Granny Island looks like she takes no shit.

FemaleAndLearning Mon 04-May-20 23:18:59

A chair for my mother
I really liked this as the little girl lives with her mum and grandma. It is really hard to get books where there is a single mum. They save their spare change to buy a chair for worn out mum. It's good to open up issues about poverty and different types of family.

MotherForkinShirtBalls Mon 04-May-20 23:42:24

I love Katie Morag. Also Zog.

june2007 Mon 04-May-20 23:54:24

Princess Smart pants is good.

LucretiaBourgeois Tue 05-May-20 00:26:53

The Happy Families books by Janet and Alan Ahlberg are really good for going against stereotypes - see Mrs Plug the Plumber, Ms Vole the Vet, Miss Dose the Doctors' [sic] Daughter and others.

Zog by Julia Donaldson is great too - contains a very assertive and capable princess who refuses to sit around the palace "in a silly, frilly dress" because she's determined to be a doctor.

FWRLurker Tue 05-May-20 04:25:21

IDK if you have them in the UK but my daughter who’s seven loves the comic / graphic novel series phoebe and her unicorn.

The MC Phoebe is a really realistic portrayal of just a regular, somewhat dorky kid who happens to be a girl... the usual kid drama but also she does gross and goofy stuff and likes bad jokes and stupid pranks - you know, the fun things usually reserved for boys. It’s Calvin and Hobbes esque, bc she has a unicorn pal and 80% of it is just the two of them interacting.

Patte Tue 05-May-20 07:15:51

"Nobody Owns The Sky" tells the true story of Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African American origin to hold a pilot's licence, for about this age. Fair warning, she does die in a plane crash, but it doesn't dwell on that, it's not nightmare fuel imo.

Peonyonpoint Tue 05-May-20 08:22:33

Ones for your future shelf - i love ballet shoes as it shows the girls wanting to provide for themselves and follow their own ambitions even in the thirties. Also the little white horse is just a beautiful book with again a very managing and opinionated heroine. We’ve had a big success with the naughtiest girl in the school series - a good lovable feisty heroine, who is adored even though she frequently is not very nice. Also the little house on the prairie series sees girls (while having to be very good) dealing with wolves, panthers, bears, travelling across the states in a covered wagon, and Laura ingalls wilder’s own story (read prairie fires yourself, AMAZING) is very inspirational.

Peonyonpoint Tue 05-May-20 08:26:22

Also Howl’s Moving Castle, though would probably need to be about seven.

NeedToKnow101 Tue 05-May-20 08:56:20

Mr Gum when she's a bit bigger. The other main character is a strong, clever, funny, feisty girl (mr Gum is the baddie).

I second the Ahlberg books, hilarious and clever and don't comply with gender stereotypes.

I bought a lovely book for a 5 year-old (aimed at that age group) about black women who had achieved high in many different areas. I can't remember the title. She loved it.

SugarOrSweetenerWithTheTea Tue 05-May-20 11:14:00

Thank you! Lots of books added to my amazon basket!

OP’s posts: |
DuesToTheDirt Tue 05-May-20 11:16:19

Karate Princess series

JangoInTheFamilyWay Tue 05-May-20 12:56:24

Billy and the Beast by Nadia Shireen is fab and perfect for a 5 year old

Lowhum Tue 05-May-20 19:39:06

Try the Daisy books too. They are chapter books but are easy to read to a five year old and hold their attention. Daisy is little girl who gets up to lots of mischief and behaves exactly like any little boy or girl of that age. The stories talk about poo, snakes, things that scare her, having fun outdoors, making friends etc.

RobynNora Wed 06-May-20 09:17:17

Some great suggestions here. There's a super list of children's books on the Gender Equality Collective website too - many suitable for 5 year olds.

CatteStreet Wed 06-May-20 09:26:58

Miss Dose is a doctors' daughter because both her parents are doctors smile

I'm glad to hear about Zog. I became disenchanted with Julia Donaldson after noticing the tendency for male figures to go on quests/adventures and leave the females behind - Stick Man/Tabby McTat (and Samuel Sprat).

Another vote for Katie Morag. I also like that Mrs McColl is the shouty stressed one and Mr McColl the gentle one. And that Neilly Beag bakes meringues and cleans.

Bob Graham's books are nicely observed and balanced - This is Our House and Queenie the Bantam are two that spring to mind.

Chapter books, we enjoy the Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf books (the first one is the best) and Mrs Pepperpot - while she may live quite a traditional life, she is very much the centre of the action and the one with her head screwed on. Surprisingly perhaps, the Milly-Molly-Mandy books are good too. Again a realistically traditional distribution of roles, but not obtrusively so - everyone pitches in, and in the later books MMM and Billy Blunt have a lot of very equal adventures together. There are only a couple of stories that get it a bit wrong. And - again in the later books - there is a rather glam car-driving mum at the Big House.

CatteStreet Wed 06-May-20 09:28:08

(Should add that Mrs McColl is clearly not stressed from being left to pick up all the slack - they always both seem busy)

monkeycat Wed 06-May-20 09:42:58

The Day Louis Got Eaten by John Fardell is really fun and he is rescued by his sister .

When she's a little older then the Ottoline book by Chris Riddell and the the Goth Girl books by the same author are great , as well as being beautifully illustrated .

I agree some of the older books by Shirley Hughes just normalise people doing people things rather than male /female things . In the Alfie books the teenager 'Maureen' is a great character and we also have a book about the 'Babysitter' who is clearly a late teen/early 20s guy with a lovely mullet and flares !

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