Looking for something to read to your young one (or older one-- picture books know no age limit!) but sick of reading the same Fancy Nancy over and over again? Here is a list of some of my favorite picture books that feature fantastic strong females as their main character.
One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck
I love everything about this adorable story - from the great family dynamics to the watercolor illustrations. Sophia really wants a special present and goes to each family member, in turn, crafting different arguments she thinks will best persuade each individual person based on their personality. It makes a great read aloud and a great introduction into different writing styles at the same time!
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Another great read aloud, this book is perfect for inspiring creativity and perseverance. The hero of the story sets out to create something marvelous and discovers that creating perfection is harder than she first thought. She eventually gives up in frustration only to come back later with renewed perspective to find that things aren't as bad as they seemed.
Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood
This super fun retelling of the old fairy tale is the perfect fit for those who are drawn, as so many are, to princess stories. In this version, Cinderella does indeed attend the ball, only she is called away suddenly when there is a malfunction on the prince's ship that only she can fix.
Can't get enough of princess books? Try Princess Smartypants and the Princess and the Pig for fresh takes on royal girls.
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
Lola at the Library is the first of a series of fantastic stories all about Lola and her brother Leo. Their simplicity is part of what makes these books so great - they are just stories about a little girl exploring her world. Perfect for those who like to read multiple stories about familiar characters.
Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty
No list of great girl power books would be complete without this title and its newer companion, Ada Twist Scientist. Told in rhyme these endearing books are fun for the whole family and are great examples of girls learning important lessons while following their passions wherever they may take them.
Going Places by Peter Reynolds
There aren't too many books out there about girls and go-carts but this one makes up for its lack of peers. Maya is building a contraption to enter into the annual race in her town but she causes quite a stir with her different approach to the contest. Perfect example of creative thinking and problem-solving to share with kids!
Ol Mama Squirrel by David Stein
This book is one of my favorite read alouds - especially for preschoolers, but boy is it tiring for your throat! Ol Mama Squirrel is ready for any would-be predator that comes near her tree. She scares them off with her "chook chook chook!" (Incidentally making that noise really loudly is why I love the book and also why it's so hard on my throat.) Until one day a bear comes along who isn't all that impressed with her performance and Mama Squirrel has to change her tactics a little bit. I love the illustrations as well as the "message" of this book - I certainly wouldn't want to mess with Ol Mama!
Madam President by Lane Smith
Living up to its title, this story is all about a girl who imagines what it would be like to be president. I like this particular book because it's not trying to make a political statement; it's just a girl daydreaming about her future- what could be more natural than that?
For a different, more educational version of this theme, try Grace for President where the titular character runs for class president despite being up against some pretty tough gender dynamics.
11 Experiments that Failed by Jenny Offill
Hilarious and inspirational at the same time, this book is sure to inspire many budding scientists while answering age-old questions like does bologna make a good frisbee? It's also a great introduction to the scientific method as the main character lays out her hypothesis, lists what she needs, followed by her procedure and results.
Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge
In addition to being gloriously illustrated, this book is a lovely story about a brother and sister who don't necessarily see eye to eye. It's another great story to share with kids about thinking outside the box and being true to yourself. Plus, you get to say things like "Sweepity Peep!!" Ha ha, I love it!
For another sweet sibling story with great female characters, try Maple by Lori Nichols.