First celebrated after women gained suffrage rights in Russia, in 1917, International Women’s Day was recognized by the United Nations in 1975. In recent years, an increasing number of books for children feature strong women and girls that make excellent stories to share with young readers. Visit your library or book store today to add to your own International Women’s Day collection with some of our favorites.
From Nunavut’s Inhabit Media, celebrate with Nalvana, a little girl discovering her possibilities in What’s My Superpower? by Aviaq Johnston and with cheerful and universally appealing illustrations by Tim Mack. Nalvana’s superpower is one to which children everywhere can appreciate and aim to make their own.
The Truly Brave Princesses, by Dolores Brown and with illustrations by Sonja Wimmer, is published by Spain’s NubeOcho in both Spanish and English versions. From astronauts to office workers, photographers and mothers, all manner of everyday “princesses” with all manner of personal styles, abilities, and challenges, surround us everywhere in both this book and in the world.
Winner of the middle grade category in the 2018 Schneider Family Book Awards, Shari Green’s junior novel Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess, from Canada’s Pajama Press, provides readers with two women to celebrate: Macy herself is an Every Girl who happens to be deaf and her elderly neighbor makes magic with baked goods—the magic of friendship and support, including the support of needing help herself and thus giving Macy the opportunity to grow.
Jessica Spanyol’s board book series from British publisher Child’s Play offers the very youngest readers a series featuring Rosa. Bespectacled toddler Rosa loves dinosaurs, plays with toy trains, and is happy with her friends in a gender-free and realistic contemporary world.
New Zealand’s Gecko Press has provided us with the Belgian picture book The Old Man, by Sarah V. and Clause K. Dubois. In a simple and accessible story that features both homelessness and the uncertain mental health of the titular character, a little girl offers significant help. This little woman’s capacity to meet people where they are, accept them, and provide what she can is inspiring for readers of all ages.
Graphic novel readers can celebrate International Women’s Day with the brand new book from Nigeria’s Cassava Republic, German Calendar No December. Sylvia Ofili and artist Bergit Weyhe provide an accessible coming of age story about a truly international girl who seeks places to fit in, eventually realizing her best fit is to be herself.
May your International Women’s Day be filled with inspiration, celebration, and, as ever, great books to support the world we share.