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9 children's books to promote body positivity, from ages 2-12

Showing our kiddos that all bodies are accepted and amazing is really hard.

children's books body positivity

Have you noticed bullies and villains are usually portrayed as bigger than everyone else? How often have you come across a story with a happy main character who is larger than the other characters?

Maybe you've never noticed that the answer is almost none. With body policing and shaming surrounding us, showing our kiddos that all bodies are accepted and amazing is really hard.

Here are 9 books to help your family combat weight shaming. These books promote adipositivity: the positive affirmation of larger bodies. (Don't worry, we just Googled it too!)

1. You Are Not Small

you are not small book

Ages 2-6

Big, small, fat, thin? As teams of bears duke it out to figure out whose descriptors are 'right' we realize that there is no standard definition of size. We love how in less than 100 words this book hits the nail on the head: It's all relative.

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2. Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit

ernest the moose book

Ages 2-6

Is Ernest too big for the book or is the book too small for Ernest? We LOVE Ernest and his friend's maker mindset as they creatively problem solve. This book beautifully and literally depicts that environments should be designed to accommodate ALL bodies, not vice-versa.

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3. Lovely

lovely children's book

Ages 3-7

There are so many bodies and intersecting identities celebrated in this book, every time we read it we discover something new we love. Jess Hong uses sparse words like 'black' and 'white' and 'fancy' and 'sporty' to highlight how all of our bodies are lovely. We love how the illustrations challenge our expectations!

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4. Rock What Ya Got

rock what ya got book

Ages 3-7

"Rock what ya got and rock it a lot!" This catchy tune will be stuck in everyone's head after reading this book. Trust us, it's way better than "Let It Go" on repeat for the hundredth time. In this meta story, the illustrator draws Viva right onto the page but wants to erase her as she's not quite perfect. Viva forces us to pause and sing our self-love anthem.

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5. Brontorina

brontorina children's book

Ages 4-8

Brontorina is a big, bold, ballerina brontosaurus, need we say more? This book reminds us that some places are systemically exclusive and we need to change those systems to be more inclusive! We LOVE how the littlest of kiddos are the biggest of allies in this book.

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6. The Best Part of Me

the best part of me children's book

Ages 4-9

This book is a goldmine! Stunning portraits of real kids, hand-written poems celebrating their bodies, empowered kiddos. Our bodies have so many different abilities, this book brings into focus what bodies can do. And if the powerful ending line of "These beautiful things are mine" doesn't get you, we don't know what will!

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7. Abigail the Whale

abigail the whale book

Ages 5-8

When kids call you a whale at the pool because of your big body, what should you do? Imagine you are a glorious wonderful super whale as you dive into the pool with a SPLASH, of course. We love that Abigail practices body positivity and combats bullying through mindfully connecting with her body. Extra tip: Bring up with your children that becoming skilled at something is not a prerequisite for kind and respectful treatment.

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8. Pies from Nowhere

pies from nowhere book

Ages 6-9

Why, yes, people have been making change much before Lizzo, Shrill, and #allbodiesaregoodbodies started trending. Books that accurately depict historical people of size are important. The story of Georgia Gilmore, a civil rights activist, reminds us that we can all stand for justice using our unique skills. More importantly, the story doesn't erase Georgia's big body nor show her 'triumph' despite of it.

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9. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

voice of freedom children's book

Ages 8-12

It's no accident this book won three of the most prestigious children's book awards. The story of Fannie, a big black woman integral to the Civil Rights Movement, comes to life through a series of first-person poems. We felt Fannie's need for justice and sense of hope on every.single.page.

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The Little Feminist team believes the next generation deserves more than nine awesome body-positive stories. LittleFeminist.com exists to create demand for 99 more #allbodies children's stories.

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