Girls. They are everything from sweet to sassy, pure princess to rugged explorer. Preschool girls are the first to throw on a beautiful, pink fluffy party dress, only to head outside and jump in a muddy puddle. Young girls are also the first to develop feelings of inadequacy – with some reporting such feelings as early as 9 and 10 years old. In an effort to keep those feelings at bay and help our preschoolers develop feelings of self-worth well before those formidable years of middle and high school, we created a reading list that includes fun, enjoyable books that will work to foster a high sense of self-worth, self love, power, confidence, acceptance and kindness… as well as develop a love for reading from the very beginning.
As the summer comes to a close, you’re most likely trying to find ways to get your child prepared for preschool. A lot of time has been spent outdoors, playing and learning on the go, but as our time spent outside begins to dwindle at the end of summer and the start of school, how do we ensure that our time spent indoors is just as productive, and all is not lost from hours spent in front of the television? The answer: READ. Even without implementing any sort of homeschooling throughout the summer or at home after school hours, simply reading to your child on a daily basis can do amazing things for their vocabulary, imagination, and cognitive development; AND when it comes to GIRLS, reading has the added benefit of providing examples of strong and fabulous female characters that portray confidence, self-love, perseverance, and resiliency – to name a few.
If you’re on the hunt for great reads to prepare your child for school (and life ahead), we’ve pulled together some of our favorite inspiring and award-winning reads for young girls!
1. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun – Having the Courage to Be Who You Are
by Maria Dismondy
(Self-esteem, Self-love, Confidence) Addressing the subject of bullying and overcoming hurtful words by another with kindness, this book is a must when it comes to teaching young girls how to be true to yourself even in the face of adversity. The main character Lucy is a unique individual and Ralph likes to point out all of Lucy’s unique habits, but when Ralph gets into a predicament, Lucy is the first to choose to do the right thing.
2. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae (Self-esteem)
3. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell (Self-esteem)
4. Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall (Self-esteem)
5. Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?
by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
(Perseverance, Confidence, Self-love) A book that answers the question: “What is a princess?”, Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? is a must have for little girls who love princesses, but also love to get dirty, climb trees, ride bikes, and even do chores — yup, just like Cinderella. The book follows the character of a very inquisitive and spunky little girl who consistently questions her mother about what princesses do, to which her mother always replies that it’s not what they do, but remaining true to who they are in the inside.
6. The Mermaid and The Shoe by K.G. Campbell (Finding one’s purpose)
7. The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin (Finding one’s purpose, Love)
8. The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett (Persistence)
9. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (Courage, Self-love)
10. Rosie Revere, Engineer
by Andrea Beaty
(Perseverance, Resilience) Encouraging girls everywhere to stick to their dreams and goals, little Rosie Revere has a passion for engineering, always inventing gadgets and little gizmos for family and friends. When her great, great Aunt Rose comes for a visit, Rosie sets out to make her great aunt’s dreams of flying come true by building a flying contraption. But after a short hover, crash and burn, Rosie deems the venture a failure, only to realize with a little urging from her Aunt Rose that failure only comes when one quits. This book is not only riveting and inspiring, but it also sets the basis for girls in science!
11. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires (Perseverance)
12. The Colors of Us
by Karen Katz
(Self-love, Acceptance) Written by the well-known young children’s author, Karen Katz, The Colors of Us is a step up from her much-loved “Where is Baby’s Belly Button”. Written for preschoolers through second grade, the book delves into race in an understanding and positive way, helping children learn about the many beautiful differences in their world. The main character, Lena, sets out to create a piece of art of herself, looking for just the right shade of brown. As Lena and her mother stroll through the neighborhood, Lena begins to notice that all of her friends come in various shades of color. This book is a must for helping children understand their uniqueness and the uniqueness of those around them in a loving and accepting way.
13. Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry (Confidence)
14. The Invisible String by Patrice Karst (Confidence, Overcoming fear of being apart from loved ones)
15. The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes
by Mark Pett
(Overcoming mistakes, Humility) Teaching young girls everywhere that it isn’t just about the mistakes, but how you handle them that counts, The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes follows the life of little Beatrice Bottomwell – the town perfectionist. Perfect in everything she does, she is never one to make mistakes – that is until one fateful day. The book does a great job of showing that mistakes can be overcome and are a part of living life.
16. Journey by Aaron Becker (Courage, Kindness)
17. You’re Here for a Reason by Nancy Tillman (Self-love, Purpose)
18. The Dot by Peter Reynolds (Self-discovery)
19. A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams (Love, Self-discovery)
20. The Way I Feel
by Janan Cain
(Self-expression) The Way I Feel is the ideal communication tool for parents and children, opening up conversations about the various feelings we experience throughout the day, from all of the ups to all of the downs. Use the book to put words to those feelings and expand upon your child’s understanding of feelings that may be unfamiliar or even scary, from frustration, jealousy, anger, and pride, to name a few.
Photo credits: Stephanie, Robyn Budlender on Unsplash