The History of Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month, a time to recognize the many contributions made to society by women. This celebration began in 1981 when Congress requested the President to proclaim the week on March 7th, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” As a result, by 1987 the entire month of March was designated as “Women’s History Month.”
International Women’s Day has been celebrated around the world since March 8th, 1911. The United Nations has been sponsoring this day since 1975. March is a wonderful time to celebrate the achievements women have made whether it’s a famous leader, artist, scientist, athlete, or any of the amazing women in your life!
Books on Feminism
It’s important to acknowledge women have often been left out of history. Whether it’s the ancient pharaoh of Egypt or more modern scientific contributions, women have been dismissed over and over again. But it is 2021, and we can do better! It’s time to teach our children about feminism, and the range of social and political movements that aim to establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality for all.
This is not an easy task, but here are some children’s books to help you.
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Little Feminist Board Book Set
For the littlest ones, there is the Little Feminist Board Book Set which is a fun and impactful set of board books that are filled with vibrant illustrations and portraits of international women who made history. The set includes 4 mini board books focusing on pioneers, leaders, artists, and activists.
Slightly older kids from 4 to 10-year-old will enjoy the Little Feminist picture book. This book features 25 inspiring women: politicians, athletes, scientists, artists, and much more. Filled with stunning illustrations and motivational stories, it’s never too early to empower your kids and teach them about some of the most influential women in history.
A Kids Book About Feminism
Another great book for the 4 to 10 age range is the series A Kids Book About. There’s A Kids Book About Feminism that Beti, my daughter, and I love to read. The book is straightforward and emphasizes equality. It is a conversation starter about the ideas of equality, bias, and discrimination based on gender. It’s important to note that all of these books are not just for girls. Feminism is a concept that we should all embrace regardless of gender.
IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All
Finally, it’s vital to teach our children how to be allies, active in the work of social justice, and standing up for others. The book IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All is a wonderful dive into intersectional feminism. This book advocates for inclusion and uses storytelling to teach children about the importance of coming together.
Bonus! Introductions are written by activist and law professor Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “intersectionality” in 1989, and Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, author of Intersectionality: An Intellectual History.
Anthologies on Women’s History
One of the many things I love about these books is that they share multiple amazing women’s stories. If you follow me at Beti Books, you know I love a good anthology. Being able to learn about the background and history of multiple trailblazers in one book is my cup of tea! Here are my favorite three choices:
Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World
Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World is all about what women and girls have accomplished, despite the odds. This uplifting book details the childhoods and challenges of amazing women throughout history, including Indira Gandhi, Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Blackwell, Ada Lovelace, Noor Inayat Khan, and many more. It highlights women around the globe and taught us how each one managed to change the world for the better.
The stunning illustration presented on each page will surely impress readers of all ages. Beti and I recognized quite a few famous women here, but there were many more to learn which we then researched on our own. A good book always inspires deeper thinking and exploration, in my opinion.
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
The next book, Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World, feels like going to your own private art museum, an outing I miss in our current pandemic. This book is a poetic celebration of young ladies and their discoveries, accomplishments, and persistence. Different artists illustrated the portraits of all 14 young women.
Again, the book had a few historical figures we recognized, like Maya Lin and Ruby Bridges. Still, I enjoyed the variety in images and information when learning about Annette Kellerman, Angela Zhang, and Mary Anning, just to name a few. There’s also an author’s note, a timeline, and a list of additional resources on each woman so you can really get lost (in the best way!) in your exploration of inspiring women.
She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World
Last but certainly not least is the interactive book, She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World. The book includes both the profile of each global female leader and the audio recordings of them. Readers can hear Susan Shown Harjo, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Leymah Gbowee, Dr. Temple Grandin, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and many more with just the press of a button!
I can’t think of a better way to encourage children to share their voices than by showing them a great example first. Therefore, this compelling anthology will encourage readers of all ages to speak up and change the world!
These books are a great way to begin learning about famous women around the globe. Did you recognize anyone? Or did you learn about someone new? For more children’s book recommendations featuring strong Black and brown characters, check out my site at Beti Books! I love sharing media that represents our multicultural family, and I know your family will enjoy it, too.