How to Build a Feminist Library for Your Toddler

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how you don’t need to wait until your kids are old enough to have a reasoned debate about what it means to be a feminist  to teach them a thing or two. I’ve been looking at a few different ways to create a culture of equality in our home and expand the mind of my mini feminist.

We all know that famous quote “Dismantling the patriarchy begins at home”, right? Okay maybe it’s not quite timeless but one day, with a bit of luck.

As you might expect we’re very much a ‘let clothes be clothes’ / ‘let toys be toys’ household. Lu has a diverse toy box and wardrobe made up of items stereotypically for girls and boys. I decided the logical next step was to overhaul her little library and include some titles with positive role models, affirmative language and barrier breaking plots.

Since having this little moment I’m utterly broke and Amazon are significantly better off but I’m really happy with my purchases. I thought I’d share my top titles for a mini feminist, hopefully you’ll come across some new authors.

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Katy and the big snow

 

Katy & The Big Snow

Katy is a brave and untiring tractor, who pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter, making it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs.

Now I appreciate that this mightn’t sound like an inspiring piece of feminist literature but that’s the beauty of it. Katy is getting it done, without complaint or needing saved by a male character. The illustrations are full of such rich detail you can read this again and again without getting bored. We opted for the board book edition as I feel it’ll stand up against a rambunctious toddler.

 

 

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf.

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. This little explorer

 

This Little Explorer

Learn all about the most influential explorers who searched the world far and wide in this engaging and colourful board book perfect for pioneers-in-training!

This is another chunky board book that tells the story of 10 explorers, most of whom I’d never heard of. You can expect to meet astronauts, pioneers, a cyclist and an archeologist. I think it’s fabulous to hear of the extraordinary feats of pretty normal people – the message here is definitely to dream big. The illustrations are really bright and interesting, Lu especially loves to point out the characters hats – of which there are plenty!

 

 

Lovely new reads for the little one. Thanks Nannie @travellinglightish

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My Mum

A warm, funny tribute to Mum (and to mums everywhere) by the brilliant author/illustrator Anthony Browne.

This board book is really simplistic, basically highlighting the everyday awesome of mums everywhere. The illustrations are really delicate and funny. You can also purchase ‘My Dad’ which is a similarly affirmative story. In a world where Daddy Pig is the butt of every joke it’s refreshing to see titles that praise either parent without mocking the other.

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Maya Angelou

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Little People Big Dreams

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Maya Angelou

 

Little People, Big Dreams.

In the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream.

Each book is very much picture led and tells the story in such a way that it’s suitable for toddlers and opens up discussion for older children and adults. The range includes biographical stories of women such as Coco Chanel, Maya Angelou, Frida Khalo, Amelia Earhart, Agatha Christie, Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst and Audrey Hepburn,

I am totally enamoured with all of the books in this series, we currently have 5/8 titles. The short sentences and quirky illustrations bring these characters to life and taught me all kinds of interesting facts. I feel like these books are really timeless because right now I can skip through at a pace that’s pleasing to a toddler but when Luisa is older we’ll be able to really pour over the details and chat about these inspiring women.

 

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Piggybook

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Piggybook

 

Piggybook

Mr Piggott and his two sons behave like pigs to poor Mrs Piggott until, finally, she walks out. Left to fend for themselves, the male Piggotts undergo some curious changes! This is a hilarious picture book, full of surprises and teasing visual jokes.

Now this one might be a little controversial as it does almost set the male characters up as the enemy but I think it’s a really funny look at roles within the family. If you can appreciate the humor and have ever felt at least a little put-upon it’ll make you smile. Luisas favourite thing about this book is hunting for the little pigs.

 

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. Amazing Babes

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. irena sender

 

Amazing Babes

A unique picture book for young and old that celebrates inspirational women from around the world and across generations. You will recognise some and be delighted to meet others.

I suppose this book is a little more for me than Luisa, that being said we’ve read it together and she has enjoyed it. The illustrations are super chic and the main section of the book can be read quickly if you’ve an impatient tot who absolutely has to turn the pages. What I love about this picture book is that it’s wholly inspiring and introduced me to some pretty cool women I’d never heard of. You can read more detailed biographies about each character at the back. Definitely a really cool coffee table piece.

 

 

 

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf. ten little finger and ten little toes

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf.

 

Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes

All over the world, babies are different. Yet in some ways they are very much the same: each one has ten little fingers and ten little toes – to play with, to tickle, to wave. And each child is very, very special to its parents.

This is a fab chunky little book with great repetition – like a  nursery rhyme. Luisa loves to do the actions of pointing out her fingers and toes. The reason I think this is a must have for your mini feminist is the whole message is about equality. It features babies from around the world showing their different homes, skin colour and customs but reinforces that we are all equal.

 

There you have it! My little feminist library is off to a great start. Are there any other titles you’d reccomend we get?

If you enjoyed this post please do share it, I even made a lovely pin below, look.

I've been looking at a few ways to create a culture of equality in our home & expand the mind of my mini feminist. Today we're starting with her bookshelf.

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6 Comments

  1. Oh Hannah, this post is wonderful. I totally get what you mean about starting things off early and just living by example I guess.
    We don’t have any of these aside from Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and I’ve bookmarked for payday so I can skim through all of your links and fill up my Amazon basket (my book-buying obsession for Lily is almost as strong as my clothes-buying obsession!)
    These all sound like the sorts of titles I’d love Lily to read, thanks for the inspiration.
    Lucy
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  2. 6th March 2017 / 3:10 pm

    This is awesome. The little people, big dreams books look brilliant! Off to check Amazon! Xx

  3. 8th March 2017 / 8:29 pm

    I really love this list Hannah! It’s so great and as a parent of 5.5 years I don’t have any of them! I’ve had the little people big dreams books in my basket for so long but worried they would be too much for my toddler so have held off. It’s good to have a sneak peak at them though so thanks. I’ve added a few of the others into my Amazon basket too. Thank you

  4. Eva
    13th March 2017 / 9:49 pm

    I would say that I am surprised “Pippi longstocking” was not in your library.
    She is the ultimate feminist role model, so maybe get one of the picture books for your library too.
    Everyone loves her and she is the worlds strongest girl, as you probably know!!

  5. Ellen granahan
    14th March 2017 / 7:09 pm

    I have just put all of these on my Amazon wishlist! Also found ‘Iggy Peck, Architect’, ‘Ada Twist, Scientist’ and ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ which look fab too!!!

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