Beyond the Princess: Books for Little Girls

“… And they lived happily ever after.” Every time I read this to my daughter I think to myself, except that’s not really how it happens. I mean, maybe if you’re a princess it does, but then again I can think of several real life princesses things didn’t work out all that well for so, maybe not.

This post isn’t to trash the traditional princess stories. That has been done. We all know that women aren’t sitting around waiting to be saved from a sleeping spell by a prince and if you are, good luck to you. Also, we are planning to take the kids to Disney (shhh it’s a secret) and you will most definitely see L dressed up like a princess, meeting princesses and enjoying every minute of it! This post is more to share the books that L enjoys that have female characters in much broader roles than that of princess. These books don’t limit her in her perception of what women can do and accomplish.

A candid of L looking at her books! I think she will enjoy reading… if she ever learns her letters!

Ada Twist, Scientist
This is part of a series of books that highlight careers that are not particularly female-driven. Ada Marie Twist is named for Marie Curie, who discovered radium, and Ada Lovelace, who was a mathematician and the very first computer programmer. This book, which I find really fun to read out loud, explains how Ada Marie’s mind was scientific from the start. I love it. There are other books in the series – Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen
This is new to our collection, but since I love reading and writing, I’m so thankful I can expose L to female classic authors early in her childhood. Jane’s persistence and perception are highlighted in this wonderfully illustrated book.

Princesses Wear Pants
This is another one I love to read because the cadence is so fun. I particularly like how the author, Savannah Guthrie from The Today Show, talks about how Princess Penelope has dresses and loves them, but how some jobs call for pants. This has been one of L’s favorites recently.

Isabella, Girl in Charge
Isabella is a little girl ready to see a big morning event in Washington, D.C. As she gets ready, she pretends she is Susanna Salter, the first female mayor or Nellie Ross, the first female governor. As the book progresses, she continues to mention the first female who held political offices including Sandra Day O’Connor and others. This book is part of a larger series and I’m looking forward to adding the other books to L’s collection.

Fancy Nancy
When I was growing up, I was girly. I still am. I love the color pink. I love make up, jewelry, clothes, shoes… you get the idea. What I found difficult as I got older was that being girly, or feminine, seems at odds with being a leader. I felt like I had to dull my femininity in order to be taken seriously. It was confusing. It is confusing. I still don’t really know how to navigate it all, but what I love about Fancy Nancy is that she is unapologetically fancy. She is who she is. And she has a precocious vocabulary. L adores these books and she learns all sorts of “fancy” words.

The Most Magnificent Thing
This book is dedicated to all the little perfectionists of the world! How great is that? I wish I had this book when I was younger! The main character, a girl, sets out to create something magnificent, but gets frustrated along the way that her “magnificent thing” isn’t turning out exactly how she wants. Then she looks back and see how all of her “failures” along the way actually led her to her wonderful creation.

This Little Trailblazer:  A Girl Power Primer
We don’t own this book, but I’m putting it on L’s wish list for her birthday and Christmas!

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
I bought this for L when she was really young. It has 100 stories about women, past and present, who were seen as rebels in their day. The illustrations are done by 60 female artists. L always ask to read about the doctor and the ballerina.

There are a plethora of wonderful children’s books! These are only a few that have been in the top of our rotation at the moment that I wanted to share if you have a little girl or are buying gifts for little girls.

What other books would you add to this list? I’d love to add them to Lucy’s wishlist!

Happy Reading!



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