As parents and educators, it is important for us to reflect on the messages we present to our children through literature. Unfortunately,...

KidLit Picks April Round Up

Saturday, May 06, 2017 BookBairn Blog 2 Comments

As parents and educators, it is important for us to reflect on the messages we present to our children through literature. Unfortunately, female characters have been historically underrepresented in children’s books and are often an easy target for gender stereotyping. Gender stereotypes are flawed because they are incomplete and marginalize those who don’t “fit” with the label. If we truly want books to be “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors” for children (as described by Rudine Sims Bishop), then we must look for books that shatter gender stereotypes and reflect the diversity of the world we live in.

That’s why we are shared books during April that feature mighty female characters—girls who are smart, strong, brave, adventurous, scientific, athletic, and messy. By choosing kids books that go against gender stereotypes, we can redefine what it means to act “like a girl."

Thanks to Jamie from @smallysbookshelf for choosing our mighty theme!




Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts 
“There’s still going to be barriers, but if kids have Ada’s persistence, nothing will stop them. Ada positivity, her passion and self-belief is what gets her through, keeps her going. She’s a role model for every kid, so are her namesakes, Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie.” -- Summer from @readingisourthing


Over the Ocean, by ​​Taro Gomi
“This is a mighty girl not for her physical strength or outright bravery, but because of the power of her imagination. This girl chooses to think outside of herself for the entirety of the book, wondering about life on the other side of the ocean." -- Mel from @spiky_penelope


How to Hide a Lion, by Helen Stephens
Just the type of role model I would choose for my own mighty girl..” -- Claire from @alittlebookhabit



Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu
"Boys and girls need to know that women are equally as important and integral to the growth of our nation and the world around us.-- Leah from @astoryaday


Little Big Girl, by Claire Keane
Matisse is small but can do many things and doesn't let the fact she is little stop her.” --  Kim from @bookbairn



Meet Georgia, by Marina Muun
This workbook is an invitation to beginning artists to create using O'Keeffe inspired techniques.” -- Miranda from @bookbloom



Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science by Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland
Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer.” -- Arielle from @childrensbooksgalore


Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music, by Margarita Engle 
"Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.” -- Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople



Lucia the Luchadora, by Cynthia Leonor Garza and Alyssa Bermudez
I adore this story of bravery, courage, cultural legacy and crushing gender stereotypes. Lucia is the perfect example of a mighty girl with lots of moxie and spunk.” -- Charnaie from @hereweeread



Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
"There are mighty actions that are loud and visual. But there are also small actions that people can take to help those around them. These actions are just as important and just as mighty. If you're ever in doubt, all you need to look to is Annabelle." -- Wendy from @homegrownreader


Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World, by Kate Pankhurst
“It's about women who have achieved amazing things by following their hearts and dreams.” -- Mel from @kids.books.we.love



The Worst Princess, by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie
Picture books are such an important part in the battle against reimagining what is "not for girls." -- Shannon from @ohcreativeday

The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko
In The Paper Bag Princess, the prince is the one who needs saving and the princess doesn't need the fancy dress and accessories to know she's a rock star.” -- Jamie from @smallysbookshelf



I Am series, by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos
How inspiring to know these normal everyday people changed people's opinions on things that we never knew were possible. How lucky to share these lives with our children and let them know they can be anything and do anything!” -- Michelle from @the.book.report



Georgina and Dad the Dragon by Kathleen Pickles and Lauren Merrick
It's a gentle story made even more powerful by how subtle it is. A girl pretending to be a sword-wielding knight and having rough-and-tumble play with her dad.” -- Liam from @words.and.illustrations




What a wonderful selection of Mighty Girls!
April showers bring May flowers. Or so the saying goes. And so we ease into the season of life and renewal, casting aside the heavy coat of winter. May means more time outdoors, savoring a heightened awareness of Mother Earth's beauty. Children, from their earliest days, bring us flowers. Plucking colorful stems (be they weeds or not) from ground level—extending their clutched fist to us in a generous offering, the tiniest representation of affection.

Georgia O'Keeffe said "Nobody sees a flower, really. It is so small it takes time. We haven't time." Maybe that's why children gather flowers, bestowing them at every turn, because they aren't in a rush. The flower waits for them and they are eager to be present in the face of beauty. Still, we give flowers for births. For deaths. For celebrations. And sorrow. We weave flowers into crowns and wear them in our hair. We send them in the mail and plant them in our gardens. We make them out of paper to preserve them a bit longer. And even in our rush, we find beauty in blossoms. Not because they ask anything of us, but simply because they exist. We find glints of happiness in flowers of all variety and learn about life through the process of planting, pruning, cutting, giving, and enjoying them.

Celebrate with @kidlitpicks, by gathering your most beloved books about flowers and tagging them #kidlitpicks and #flowerbooks throughout May.



Happy reading!
Mummy and BookBairn xx

2 comments:

  1. Our mighty BookBairn could hide a lion no problem. Great theme. Great books.

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    Replies
    1. She absolutely could!! She hides Louis all the time!

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