Feminist, Social Justice-Themed Board Books for Children

I Want to Be…, Nibi is Water and I am Violet, are part of Second Story Press’s first season releasing feminist, social justice-themed board books for babies and toddlers, ages 0-3 years. The three books explore some  amazing and unusual jobs people do; talk about how we use our precious water; and celebrate the color of our skin. Such a wonderful and diverse series of books for little ones! There is simplicity in all three books and they are beautifully illustrated in bright colors that will please toddlers.

I Want to Be…A Gutsy Girls’ ABC

Farida Zarman, Author and Illustrator

Apr. 14, 2020

Synopsis: Filled with diversity and empowerment, little girls will see that they can be anything they want. There are an alphabet of possibilities for when you grow up. Some jobs sound fun — ice sculptor, toymaker, dog handler, kite designer, party planner, and wind farmer. And some jobs sound exciting and important — jockey, aerialist, novelist, sportscaster, oceanographer, and mountain climber. Each fun letter is complimented by an illustration of a girl filled with delight and wonder as she shows us how we can be anything we want to be.

Nibi is Water (Nibi Aawon Nbiish)

Joanne Robertson, Author and Illustrator

Apr. 14, 2020

Synopsis: A first conversation about the importance of nibi (water) told from an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) perspective. Toddlers will learn about the many forms of water in rain, snow and ice. They use water to drink, bathe, brush their teeth and flush the toilet. They build snowmen in the winter, swim in the pool or canoe on a lake. Nature depends upon water to grow plants, food, and trees. Animals need water to drink and fish swim in water. Our role is to thank, respect, love and protect nibi in our daily activities.

I Am Violet

Tania Duprey Stehlik, Author

Vanja Vuleta Jovanovic, Illustrator

Synopsis: This book celebrates and explores how people come in a rainbow of beautiful colors. A little girl looks around her and sees that some people are blue, some are green, some are red. People in the world come in a rainbow of colours and Violet herself is a wonderful mixture of her mom and dad. Her mom is red, her dad is blue, and, as the little girl declares: “I am proud to be both. I am proud to be me! I am Violet!” Her message of pride and acceptance has been simplified for the youngest among us so it can be shared even earlier.

Resources: All three books are great first discussion books. Parents can help toddlers  identify letters associated with amazing gender-neutral jobs; they can talk with them about protecting water and learn dual language words (glossary at the end); and they can help their little ones explore their own skin color and the skin color of others.  Encourage children to draw pictures of fun jobs, how they use water, and self/family portraits showing their skin colors in bright colors. Children have big imaginations.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Review copies provided by the publisher.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

19 thoughts on “Feminist, Social Justice-Themed Board Books for Children

  1. I wish these board books had been available when my kids were young. Such wonderful resources to spur family discussions and open young children’s eyes to our diverse world.

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    • The publishing world has changed so much, especially in the last 10 years. I would have loved these diverse books for my daughter when she was young.But now I can share them with my great grand kids.

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  2. Patricia… These look wonderful!!! We’ve been scrambling so much lately with a crazy business model (bookstore closed, taking orders by email and phone and through a new online complete bookstore) and I’ve been wondering when I would find time to start finding NEW books and THANK YOU, these look perfect for us. On my shopping list right now.

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    • I was just thinking about you last week. Good to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the books I shared. Do you check out Second Story Press, they publish a lot of indigenous, First Nation PB and MG books. The Nibi book I shared today, was first a picture book.

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  3. These kind of books are so beneficial to the development of young minds—especially girls. It’s great these are available for our new generation to learn and enjoy from. Simple, but I’m sure very effective.

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  4. These look like amazing books. I am Violet reminds me of a favorite book when my kids were little – I Love You The Purplest by Barbara Joosse. Great combination of books!

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  5. Your headline drew me in, Patricia. Feminist/social-justice in the same sentence as board books. That’s amazing. Better to start younger. Why not?

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    • Yes, I agree. Never thought about board books in this manner. When I received the books I knew that I needed to review them together with the social-justice theme they intended. To separate them would have been less effective.

      Liked by 1 person

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