Our 10 Must Have Books for Little Feminists
The idea for sisu socks started with a cold winter night while I was visiting my family in Canada, I laid my eyes on the most beautifully illustrated book for little feminists I had ever seen. The book that I needed when I was a little girl, the book I regret not having but the book that I am so glad exists today – for the future little feminists.
That book was – Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – if you haven’t heard of it, I’m sorry for you, haha! You need it and your little feminist needs it.
A NOTE: not all of these are “books” but they are all educational, inspiring and fun for the little feminists in your life. Share the love and support these stories (and the women that wrote them). Teach your girls and boys what equality means and what it means to lift each other up.
I’ve thought long and hard about putting a list like this together so here it is, my favourite must have feminist books for the littles.
img source: acornbooksblog.wordpress.com
1. Julian is a Mermaid
Julian is a Mermaid is the intersectional feminist book you need. This amazingly illustrated book tells the story of Julian and his grandmother – they are the best of friends, she loves him and teaches him that it’s okay to be anything you want to be. It doesn’t matter that your name is Julian – if you want to be a mermaid, honey, be the beautiful mermaid that you were born to be. The illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning, it makes me want to get my finest outfit on and go smash the patriarchy together with Julian!
2. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Alright, alright I mentioned it already – Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – with every flip of a new page you are introduced to a new woman and her story – each illustration is created by a different artist so every page is bound to be a new page of adventure! These stories are meant to inspire young kids to see that gender should have no boundaries on what you do in life. They have multiple editions and are available in more languages than you can count!
img source: rabbelmag.com
3. Rabbel Magazine
Rabbel Magazine – is for fierce-hearted and creative preteens. It reminds girls that they are enough through powerful storytelling, creative imagery and now – an online community! Their mission is to replace body-perfect-centric and stereotype-heavy narratives with inspiring, uplifting, and validating content focused on creativity and global role models. I’m so honoured to have met Julie and her daughter, Tully who (with their friend Estrella) started this magazine and community. You can see how much love goes into Rabbel Magazine and I will say it as I have said it before, this is the magazine I wish I had when I was young – imagine how far I could have come if I was reading Rabbel and not tiger beat, haha!
img source: sg.caroussell.com
4. Dancing in the Wings
Dancing in the Wings is about Sassy (first of all, Sassy? what a dope name!) – a long-legged girl who has a voice and she lets it be heard! I feel like I was Sassy as a little girl – maybe that’s why this book spoke to me. Sassy wants nothing more but to be a ballerina but she’s nervous because she might not look like the other ballerinas in class, she’s too tall to dance with the boys, her feet are too big and she really sticks out. This book is about acceptance, about following your dreams even when they don’t seem to follow the traditional ways of being. It’s about working damn hard for everything you want and learning that you deserve it – different is beautiful and different is what we should all aspire to be. Sassy, you’re a feminist inspiration!
img source: booktastings.home.blog
5. Suki’s Kimono
Suki’s Kimono is the coolest feminist book for kids I’ve seen in a hot minute! Suki loves that gorgeous Kimono of hers, and screw what her sister’s think is cool or not cool – Suki’s Kimono is damn cool. Being yourself is hard – Suki teaches us that, but Suki stays positive and tries her best to be the badass that she is – even if sometimes she doesn’t know if what she’s doing is right, even if she’s a bit unsure. Suki, keep rocking YOU, girl! Teach your feminist kiddos to wear their own versions of Suki’s Kimono with pride!
img source: EgyptJazmean YouTube
Oh my GOD! How cute are these illustrations in Chunky by Amina Leila? This book is all about accepting the skin that we are in. ZOZO is her name… I can’t handle all of these beautiful names! Zozo is a vivacious African American girl who loves herself unapologetically – she’s the queen I’m still learning to be. She was born chunky and she’s still that way and she just loves it! Have you ever met someone who was so in love with the skin that they were in you literally turned all of your lame judgements completely off? It didn’t matter what they looked like, what body-image-ideal they fulfilled or not, they were just radiating love for themselves and you wanted nothing more than to know how to do it for yourself? That’s Zozo and your little feminists need this book of self-love!
img source: designmom.com
7. Harlem’s Little Blackbird
Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renee Watson is the story of an earth angel with a voice that shut a crowd up instantly – the incredible – Florence Mills. This American cabaret singer, dancer and comedian became popular in a time when the odds were stacked against her. This is the timeless story of justice, equality and the importance of listening to the dreams of your heart. In a very segregated time, Florence, also known as “Queen of Happiness” entertained and rose above. Knowing how difficult it was going to be for her in the entertainment world because of the colour of her skin – Florence did everything she could to help her people. She supported and promoted the works of her fellow black performers while chanting loudly for civil rights!
img source: The Learning Path YouTube
8. Mommy’s Khimar
Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow was selected as a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness! It tells the story of a young Muslim American girl who spends her day wrapping herself in her mommy’s headscarves. She finds herself immersed in a vibrant world where she feels even more connected to her mom. This is a wonderful opportunity for all little feminists to explore a different culture, religion and background and to learn understanding and acceptance from a young age. Educate your babies about all the beautiful differences that we as humans offer to this world. Acceptance is love. Respect is love.
img source: livegrowplayaustin.com
9. Franny’s Father is a Feminist
The book the boys of my generation (and probably yours) should have read – Franny’s Father is a Feminist. Girls can do anything that boys can do – plain and simple, it’s the truth and change can happen with something as simple as a father believing in his kids – no matter what their gender is. A change can happen with something as simple as a father daring to believe and support his child even when the world he lives in doesn’t agree with him.
So much of who I am as a strong, independent woman came from my father seeing me as an equal to my brother. I was given the space, love and respect to follow my dreams – whatever those were. Cheers to dads and cheers to the boys and men who know this truth and who live by it. A feminist dad can mean so much in the empowerment of young kids – that would also include a dad supporting his boy to dance, be a nurse or stay-at-home-dad – let’s change these bullshit gender stereotypes!
img source: picturebooksblogger.wordpress.com
10. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Similar in nature to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girl, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History shares the fierce and inspiring stories of black women in American history! The illustrations are pure gold – meant to make you melt with their cuteness. Each page tells the stories of iconic and the not-as-well-known black American women. By sharing these stories and putting these women on the podium they deserve to be on – the book aims to make better role models for girls and womxn to come. The book features abolitionist Sojourner Truth, poet Maya Angelou, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball and many more!
So why should I care?
Why is it so important to read these stories? To teach our young ones? Because if we continue to all work on this and inspire them from a young age to believe in equality and to make it a thing that is absolutely normal – we will one day get to a place where it is normal.
With our blog we want to continue to tell the stories of amazing womxn! Our sock designs tell the stories of incredible womxn in history who have made strides in their communities – with each pair sold on our online shop, a donation is made to Project Três – a women’s organization that helps empower women in India and Kenya.
Shop our collections and learn about the women behind the sock designs!