Girl power: 16 picture books that encourage, empower + inspire✨

We are ALL ABOUT girl power here at #TeamMotherly. ??

We’ve curated the best of the best when it comes to picture books that empower and inspire the future of feminism. From stories of strong female leaders to girls that just wouldn’t take no for an answer, these 16 books should be a part of every girl’s (and boy’s) library.

1. Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz
Even the tiniest of babies can be feminist babies! This vibrant, clever board book will empower even the littlest member of your family to be brave, bold, and do her own thing.

2. I Know a Lot! by Stephen Krensky, illus by Sara Gillingham
You know what your little girl knows? A LOT! We love this board book both for its inspiring message and its cool retro feel.

3. This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer by Joan Holub, illus by Daniel Roode
Little trailblazers can cause great big changes. Now even the youngest readers can learn about Rosa Parks, Sonia Sotomayor, and other influential women who changed the course of history with this vibrant, age-appropriate board book.

4. Little Women: A BabyLit Playtime Primer by Jennifer Adams, illus by Alison Oliver
Classic lit for babies? Yes, please! Introduce your little one to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—the pioneers of girl power!

5.Little Feminist Board Book Set by Galison and Emily Kleinman, illus by Lydia Ortiz
Feminist artists, leaders, activists, and pioneers, all rolled into one convenient—and beautiful—boxed set. We love this as the perfect gift for the newborn feminist in your life!

6. Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
This heartwarming, Caldecott Honor-winning picture book tells the inspiring story of conservationist Jane Goodall as a child. Charming illustrations and real-life anecdotes from Goodall’s childhood make this story fun and accessible for young readers.

7. Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer
Not all little girls want to be princesses. Join one of kid lit’s favorite feminist pigs as she rebels against all things pink and ruffly and embarks on her quest for individuality.

8. The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires
Lou is brave, fast, and mighty—but she’s never climbed a tree, and she’s not sure if she can. This picture book perfectly captures every little ones’ fears and teaches an important lesson about courage.

9. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illus by Jon Klassen
Award-winning author and illustrator team up in this whimsically illustrated, beautifully written modern fairy tale about a young girl and her box of magical yarn.

10. The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller, illus by Frank Morrison
Wilma Randolph was a legendary African-American Olympic sprinter and a civil rights activist who took the world by storm in the 1960s. Combining history with a modern-day story of empowerment and perseverance, this picture book is timeless.

11. I am Amelia Earhart by Brad Meltzer, illus by Christopher Eliopoulos
Can one person change the world? This accessible biography of Amelia Earhart teaches our little ones that sometimes it’s ok not to take no for an answer!

12. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle, illlus by Rafael López
Luminous illustrations and rhythmic prose set this tale about Cuba’s first female drummer apart as one not to be missed.

13. The Water Princess by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel, illus by Peter H. Reynolds
This inspiring picture book is based on the true of an African supermodel’s childhood and her quest to bring clean drinking water to her village. We love that it combines a lesson in social consciousness with a story of hope and determination.

14. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illus by David Roberts
Inspired rhymes and historical inspiration teaches creative girls to follow their dreams, even in the face of failure. We can’t think of a better read-aloud for budding inventors!

15. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, illus by Elizabeth Baddeley
All rise for the notorious RBG! The perfect primer on this Supreme Court legend in a lively, accessible picture book perfect for the ever-dissenting toddler set.

16. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton, illus by Alexandra Boiger
Never underestimate the power of persistence. This inspirational picture book captures the true essence of girl power and celebrates 13 American women who helped shape our world.

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A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.


I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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