Reading aloud with your child—even if they can already read themselves—has many benefits. Children whose parents read aloud to them are more likely to have better literacy skills and language than those whose parents do not. In addition to promoting these skills, it also enhances the parent-child bond and relationship. And, of course, reading with your child can help foster a love of language and books.
March is Women's History Month, which celebrates the contributions and achievements women have made over the course of history. March 8th is International Women's Day, which is a "global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women." This year's theme is "Choose to Challenge," particularly when it comes to gender bias and inequity.
We've rounded up some great picture books and other books to read aloud with your child—and don't be fooled by the picture books: they're great for any age, and they really lend themselves to reading aloud.
Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
This is a fun, informational illustrated collection of 40 profiles of women around the world—you might recognize Schatz from her other books: Rad American Women A-Z or Rad Girls Can. From Buffy Sainte-Marie to Josephine Baker to Poly Styrene to Venus and Serena Williams, this book is full of historical and contemporary women who made a difference. This one is probably most appealing for those 10 and up—reading aloud to them is important, too!—because of the layout and style, although those a little younger might also like it as well.
This gorgeous book—a Coretta Scott King Honor book, Christopher Award winner, and Junior Library Guild Selection—tells the story of Harriet Tubman in a way many people might not know. It traces her life before we knew her as Harriet. We see her as a suffragist, spy, liberator, little girl, nurse, and more. There is an informative author's note and resources in the back of the book.
Ever since she was two years old, Jazz knew she was a girl, not a boy. This picture book is based on Jennings' own story and shares what it was like for Jazz as a little girl. It's a great introduction to Jennings, an activist who was the youngest person ever featured in Out magazine's "Out 100."
Frida Kahlo is known for her self-portraits and colorful art. She also had many pets, and this book is a whimsical look at Kahlo's life and the animals that inspired her art. The story looks at all of Kahlo's pets that she had, and how she shared characteristics with each one—bravery, inquisitiveness and more.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or RBG, was known for her scathing and incisive dissents—but they were also thoroughly thought-out and detailed. She chose her words carefully, and though she was known for being outspoken, she was also known for her unlikely friendships with those with whom she disagreed. This biographical picture book tells the story of RBG and is sure to become a favorite.
This book in Harrison's Little Leaders series collects the stories of 35 women creators from around the world. Profiles include Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Zaha Hadid. While younger kids might like Harrison's board books better, this book is a great read aloud for elementary and middle-schoolers.
This fun oversized board book is perfect for encouraging little ones to dream big and follow their dreams. The illustrations show women trailblazers and explorers with easy-to-follow text, and more information about each woman in the back of the book.
Mae Jemison was the first Black woman to travel to space, and this beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of Mae as a young girl, wanting to be an astronaut. Not only is it perfect for those wanting to learn more about Jemison, but it's an encouraging story for kids to follow their dreams.
I'm a huge fan of this series, and this book comes out March 16th. These books are a great way to introduce kids to famous figures in an easy-to-understand, interesting format. While you're waiting for this one, you can also check out the books about Megan Rapinoe, Aretha Franklin, Greta Thunberg and Maria Montessori.