This post is sponsored by Piccolina
It’s really important to me that my kids learn about success and accomplishments in a wide variety of ways and through a representative set of people. Unfortunately, traditional schooling typically has focused on white male narratives, with little emphasis on women leaders, especially women of color from around the world.
Because of this, I’ve been working extra hard to have a diverse set of heroes and strong female representation in our learning this year. I’ve loved including some clothing from Piccolina in our repertoire to help support and encourage our learning!
The Piccolina Trailblazer Tees feature diverse women leaders in history from around the world – perfect for sparking conversations and organic education. They come in styles that both my girls AND boys love, and they’re super soft and comfortable, too. Plus, they’re designed by incredible female artists from around the world!
In addition to the Trailblazer Collection, they also have really fun prints in a variety of interest-driven patterns like math, oceanography, mountain climbing, etc. So empowering!
Female Heroes in Books: Diverse Picture Books
I really love helping my kids learn about the world through books. Whether we’re traveling extensively or learning from home, books are a wonderful way to open our minds about other peoples and cultures. And I especially love incorporating stories that feature female heroes from around the world.
Here are some incredible female heroes represented in Piccolina’s Trailblazer Tees and why they’re worth learning about. They’re all women who I hope inspire my kids, and who represent ambition, growth, and learning. I’ve included a beautiful picture book to support learning about each one, as well. These kids books about women are all amazing!
I’d love to hear if you’ve spent time learning about any of these amazing women from around the world!
Table of Contents
Books On Women Leaders Around the World
Children’s Books About Female Activists and Women Leaders
We learned about Malala for a family book club a couple years ago and it was meaningful and special. I love that she’s relatable but still inspirational – exactly the kind of woman I hope my kids learn about and from. This gorgeous nonfiction book about a woman leader is perfect to encourage other young leaders.
Malala Picture Book: Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
RBG was a force of nature. We ordered my daughter’s shirt just before she passed away, and it’s so special to remember her and all the incredible work she did every time my daughter wears it. This picture book is a staple read in our home, and is great for younger as well as older kiddos to learn about her life and legacy.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg Picture Book: I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
I find that many kids now, when taught about Rosa Parks, are shocked that bus segregation even existed. That reminds me that racism is learned and taught, not inherent. And yet, it’s so prevalent and systemic in our culture that we must actively work against it. This book (and also the beautiful t-shirt) help us start those discussions naturally so we can create a culture of active anti-racism in our homes.
While this picture book isn’t about Maya Angelou, it is authored by her. The drawings perfectly complement the inspirational words. I love how accessible and inspirational her writing is even for young children. It’s a book I love displaying in our home and that we read over and over to foster courage and action through learning about women leaders.
Maya Angelou Picture Book: Life Doesn’t Frighten Me (25th Anniversary Edition)
Susan B. Anthony
While voting is a far more accessible right to many now, it wasn’t always that way. It’s important that my children not only feel gratitude for the privilege that will be theirs and appreciation for those who made it possible, but also recognition that voting suppression and disparity in access still exists. I hope this terrific book about a female hero encourages them to fight against injustice in many forms and seek more equalized representation.
Susan B. Anthony Picture Book: Susan B. Anthony
While “Harriet Tubman” is often a household hame, this book gives new insight into her life and legacy. The beautiful words and illustrations bring her to life and help young ones feel the impact of her work.
Harriet Tubman Picture Book: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Caldecott Honor Book)
Eleanor Roosevelt redefined the role of First Lady and was one of its amazing women leaders. Instead of sitting back and looking pretty, she jumped right into the work alongside her husband. But it wasn’t always serious and boring – she knew how to have fun, too. I love how this book brings to life the joy of public service and Eleanor’s kindness and ambition.
Eleanor Roosevelt Picture Book: Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws A Picnic
Eleanor Roosevelt Picture Book: Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride
Juliette Gordon Low
Young Girl Scouts will be delighted to hear the history of their organization in this terrific book about its founder. The program was founded on principles of adventure, fun, and service – perfect to inspire those participating now.
Juliette Gordon Low Picture Book: Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette ‘Daisy’ Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure
Ida B. Wells
We hear less and less about investigative journalism these days, it seems, and Wells was certainly a pioneer. In a field that has historically not been welcoming to either Black people or women, she made incredible inroads that I love sharing with my kids.
Ida B. Wells Picture Book: Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist
Children’s Books About Women in Science
My kids, like many, are very into space, and my oldest loves wearing his shirt of this female hero. I love that this beautiful book helps them not only learn about recent female heroes, but also women of color who made incredible contributions to our society and to science. We’ve been meaning to watch Hidden Figures with our kids – I think it needs to be our next movie night!
Katherine Johnson Picture Book: Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
Katherine Johnson Picture Book: A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon
There’s something so fun about learning about animals as a child. And I love that Jane Goodall demonstrates that that doesn’t need to end when you’re an adult! She’s easy to connect with since her interests mirror those of so many young children, and this is one of the beautiful picture books about female leaders is great at detailing her life’s work.
Jane Goodall Picture Book: The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps
Who doesn’t love experiments and explosions and the mysteries of chemical reactions? The beautiful, gold-accented artwork in this children’s book about women leaders stunningly highlights an incredible female scientist.
Marie Curie Picture Book: Marie Curie
Mae was the first Black woman to travel in space, and a pioneer in the field. She’s inspirational, and this is one of my favorite kids books about women that encourages kids to reach for the stars – or anything else that feels impossible at first.
Mae Jemison Picture Book: Mae Among the Stars
Few things are more fascinating than dino bones. That is, if you’re Mary Anning. Little dino lovers will be in awe of her real life fossil explorations and be inspired to persevere in their own. The illustrations are as much of a journey as the story in this book! The shirt is no longer available, but this beautiful art print is!
Mary Anning Picture Book: Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist
The cover of this book captivates right from the start. I love the symbolism behind digging deep and going further, and this one captures it perfectly with Earle’s interest in and pursuit of knowledge in the ocean.
Sylvia Earle Picture Book: Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
Who knew the world’s first computer program was written by Lord Byron’s daughter? Ada Lovelace is incredible in her own right and an incredible scientist. I love how old connects to new possibilities in this book. The shirt is no longer available, but this beautiful art print is!
Ada Lovelace Picture Book: Ada Byron Lovelace & The Thinking Machine
Children’s Books About Female Artists
Daniel always wanted to be an architect growing up, and still loves pointing out styles and functionality in buildings to our kids. I love how this beautiful book shares how Hadid was inspired by traditional Muslim patterns in her native Iraq on her architectural and artistic journey.
Zaha Hadid Picture Book: The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid
I LOVE learning and teaching about Frida Kahlo (see a number of Frida activities in this Mexico guide) because her personality and work are both so vibrant. Both this book and this shirt capture that energy and instill an excitement for creation and change in little learners.
Frida Kahlo Picture Book: Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
Frida Kahlo Picture Book: Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself
Children’s Books About Female Athletes
Annie Smith Peck
Suffragist AND mountain climber? Annie Smith Peck is inspirational in more ways than one. I love that she epitomizes and normalizes female athletes as well as female heroes. I love that this book has an added element of diversity with her continuing achievements as she aged. The shirt is no longer available, but this beautiful art print is!
Annie Smith Peck Picture Book: A Woman’s Place Is at the Top: A Biography of Annie Smith Peck, Queen of the Climbers
While this series has tons of featured heroes, the Amelia Earheart one is one of the best. It makes this woman leader approachable but adventurous, and aspirational for little leaders. And she’s perfectly represented in her shirt, too!
Amelia Earheart Picture Book: I Am Amelia Earhart
Have you learned about any of these women before? Who would you love to highlight next?
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