March 8th is International Women’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than to read with your child about women who’ve made a difference in the world? The first International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1911, and today, it’s a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. It’s also a day to emphasize the need for gender parity. Each year, there is a theme, and for 2017, the theme is “Be Bold for Change.” The change they’re talking about is closing the gender gap in the workplace – with gendered leadership roles, and especially with the pay disparity.
But make no mistake about it – it’s not just a day for girls. Now, more than ever, boys need to learn about women and the many accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history. There are many great children’s books to choose from to read on this subject, for boys and girls. Here are some of our favorites.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty: This picture book is in the same series as Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer. This installment emphasizes the importance and wonder of curiosity, emphasizing female scientists.
Maya Angelou (from the Little People, Big Dreams series) by Lisbeth Kaiser: This series tells the stories of people who’ve done great things in their lives, in a way that elementary-school children can understand. In this book, children can learn about Maya and her path to becoming a writer.
I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer: This picture book is part of a larger series. Children can learn about Jane’s work with chimpanzees, why her work is important, and how she got to be where she is.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans: Aside from being one of our favorite board books of all time, Madeline was pretty ahead of her time. She’s fearless, brash, and does her own thing.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favili: Don’t let the title fool you – this is a great book for both girls and boys. This book is jam-packed to the gills with 100 stories about women from all over the world. Full of illustrations from female artists, the book is a beautiful way to learn about accomplished women.
How do you plan on celebrating International Women’s Day? What children’s books do you like that helps to empower girls?