19 Children's Books That Celebrate Girl Power!

posted by Toka Box Editorial Team , October 06, 2019

We love Dussehra because it is the time when the Goddess blesses us with her power and her grandeur! When I was growing up, it was next to impossible to get stellar picture books about awesome girls or strong central female characters. Today, things have changed! Boys and girls have such a variety of books to read. 

Books in the 2-5 age category

1. Amma Tell Me About Durga Puja

Age group: 3 to 5

Bhakti Mathur is a brilliant narrator and a gifted writer. Her renditions of popular stories from the epics and books about festivals are loved by many children from around the world. In Amma Tell Me bout Durga Puja, Bhakti writes about how Goddess Durga defeats the demon king Mahishasura. You get goosebumps as you read this book out loud. It is written in superb verse. My daughter and I could feel the energy of the Goddess surge through our veins as I read it out loud. It is both a wonderful way to introduce your child to Dussehra and Durga Pooja as well as an important tale about the power of Goddess Durga.

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

2. Padmini is Powerful

Age group: 2 to 4

Published by Bharat Babies, Padmini is Powerful introduces readers to Hindu gods. Padmini is wise like Ganesh, she is generous like Lakshmi, and energetic like Parvati.  Through Padmini, we will meet these Hindu gods, and learn that power has many forms.  

Buy this book now!

Amazon India  Amazon US

3. Little Laali

Age group: 3 to 5

Little Laali wants to climb trees and explore the world but all she hears is the word 'no!' What will her inquisitive spirit do? Don't miss this brilliant book from Tulika! Everyone tells Laali that she's too little to do the things she wants to do. What if I were really very, very little, wonders Laali. And then her wishes come true in ways she never imagined! old illustrations match the little girl's imagination. 

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

4. Mama, Mata and Me

Age group: 3 to 5

This book celebrates the feminine and maternal qualities of divinity in the form of Devi. Mata is nurturing, wise, strong and possesses a love that knows no bounds-much like our own mama.  It depicts the purity of a mother`s love in a way that little ones can understand and relate to.

The underlying concept of the book is that -'Goddess Mata has created the entire universe and all that life has to offer and a Mom introduces all these to a child in a loving and caring way.'

Buy this book now!

Toka BoxAmazon India

5. Nina the Neighbourhood Ninja

Age group: 3 to 5

Nina the neighborhood Ninja is an everyday super girl.She is smart, strong and speedy! What’s more, she has brown skin and dark hair!

Nina and her sidekick, Fiona the firefly  start their day rescuing a baby bird. Nina is smart and thinks of a trick to save the bird and returns the bird to her mother. As she walks home, it feels like rain and there is a cat that needs a shelter. Of course, Nina is smart, strong and speedy and builds a shelter quickly. She ends the day’s adventures rescuing a family of turtles stuck in the sand.

Buy this book now!

Amazon US | Amazon India

6. Mimi and Soni Discover Dussehra Legends by Devika Joglekar

Age group: 3 to 5

We absolutely love Devika Joglekar's book, Mimi and Soni Discover Dussehra Legends. The book is about Mimi and her best friend Soni, who are regaled by Soni's aaji and her tales of Dussehra. The most enthralling tale is the one about Mahishasura and the Goddess Durga. The book also retells stories about Lord Rama and Kausta, and the reason why Apta leaves symbolize prosperity during Dussehra.

Buy this book now!

Amazon India | Amazon US

7. Not Yet

Age group: 3 to 5

Nandana Dev Sen's beautiful bilingual book is not just a universal bedtime ritual, it also brings out the free-spiritedness and courage of its central female character, who is persistent and courageous. “My dear, it’s time for bed,” says Ma. But “Can a frog stand on its head?” wonders her little girl. Lost in a world where she must learn to fly with birds in the sky, snuggle a whale, kiss the kangaroo… she has so much to do! Sleep? Not yet!

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

Books in the 6 to 9 age category

8. The Why-Why Girl

Age group: 6 to 8

Moyna is a free spirit girl who lives in the Shabar tribal village with her mom, brother and pet mongoose. Even though she worked for the village babu (landlord) by tending his goats, she was neither humble nor grateful. What she was, was always full of questions. "Why do I have to graze the Babu's goats?"

Sometimes she asks, "Why do I have to walk so far to the river to fetch water?" Another time, she poses another question: "Why do we live in a leaf hut?" Her questions were so many
that the village postmaster named her the Why-Why girl! The book is also a retelling of Mahasweta Devi's personal experience of working with the Tribal folk, in particular with Moyna. One can tell that the author finds the young but stubborn girl's curious and inquisitive nature to be amazing. She is really fond of her. She tells Moyna how reading books may have the answers to all her Whys! The fact that the why-why girl goes on to become a teacher at the local school in her tribal village speaks volumes about the positive impact and the power of curiosity!

Buy this book now!

Toka Box | Amazon India

9. Razia and the Pesky Presents

Age group: 6 to 8

Razia Sultan is very irritated. She keeps getting these pesky presents that keep reminding her she is a woman and not a male to run the empire. The present giver is giving her Sultanas (dried grapes) which is what the wife of a Sultan called. She is gifted palanquin and womanly clothes. Her Wazir and her band of forty Bandas are at their wits end on who could be playing this prank. Added to this is a whiny Banda who keeps asking for more and more land to govern. Razia is bugged and she is not able to figure out the person doing this. Does Razia finally discover who is the present giver? Why is the present giver doing this? What is the slimy fly-catcher all about? Who discovers the present giver’s identity? Written by Natasha Sharma and published by Duckbill Books, this amazing book combines history and mystery with great finesse. 

Toka Box History Mystery Bundle Set | Amazon India

10.Malala - My Story of Standing Up For Girls' Rights

Age group: 8 years +

 

We all love Malala Yousafzai and her astonishing courage. More than anything else, we love that she chooses to share it with the world.  She is also a wonderful and gifted writer. A few days ago, we received her latest book, 'We Are Displaced' and are left awe-struck by her ability to write so beautifully and to take us to her world. 

My Story for Standing Up For Girls' Rights is abridged for younger chapter book readers. The book is Malala's memoir of living in the Swat Valley and of risking her life for the right to go to school. Unflinching, inspirational and written in clear and accessible language for young readers, this is a chapter book that we highly recommend.

Buy the book!

Amazon India | Amazon US

11. Manya Learns to Roar

Age group: 6 to 8

 

Manya badly, badly wants to be Shere Khan in her school play. The Jungle Book is her favourite film and she knows all the lines. She's sure she'll be a superb Shere Khan.

But not everyone thinks so. Her classmate Rajat is always making fun of her stammer. Her English teacher thinks its risky to let her get on stage and her principal seems to agree.

The more anxious Manya gets, the worse her stammer becomes. Will Manya lose her dream role? Can she overcome her fears and learn to roar?

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

12. Brown Like Dosa, Samosas and Sticky Chikkis

Age group: 6 to 8

"Brown like dosas, samosas & sticky chikki" is an Indian story book. Challenging and debunking the discriminatory idea of "fair is beautiful", this book for kids is valuable for building positive self-esteem as it tells them that thoughts and actions define you and not your skin colour.

Buy this book now!

Toka Box | Amazon India

13. Mina Vs the Monsoon  

Age group: 6 to 8

In this book, soccer-lover Mina tries to stave off the monsoon so that she can play! Her village doesn't understand but that doesn't stop her. This amazing book by Rukhsanna-Guidroz, published by Yali books, should be on your purchase list right in time for Women's Day! It's a beautifully written book that is bound to celebrate the free spirit in every little girl and boy!

Buy this book now!

Amazon India | Amazon US

13. The Rickshaw Girl

Age group: 6 to 8

Naima is a talented painter of traditional alpana patterns, which Bangladeshi women and girls paint on their houses for special celebrations. But Naima is not satisfied just painting alpana. She wants to help earn money for her family, like her best friend, Saleem, does for his family. When Naima's rash effort to help puts her family deeper in debt, she draws on her resourceful nature and her talents to bravely save the day. Includes a glossary of Bangla words and an author's note about a changing Bangladesh and microfinance.

Buy this book now!

Toka Box | Amazon India

15. Wings to Fly

Age group: 6 to 8

Little Malathi wants to run after hens and chicks, and catch ripe yellow mangoes as they fall — but how can she, on a wheelchair? Moments and experiences from the remarkable life of disabled athlete Malathi Holla, with energetic illustrations full of warmth and cheer.

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

16. South Asian Super Girls

Age group: 6 to 8

Through the inspirational stories of 50 famous and under-celebrated women from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, South Asian girls will have a chance to dream about lives for themselves that radically differ from the limited narratives and stereotypes written for them by their culture, wider society and the mainstream media.

Bringing together illustrious entertainers (Meera Syal, Jameela Jamil, Mindy Kaling), pioneering business leaders (Indra Nooyi, Anjali Sud, Ruchi Sanghvi) and a host of other, equally remarkable yet less well known, figures (including the British Muslim spy, Noor Inayat Khan, and fearless activist, Jayaben Desai), Stories for South Asian Supergirls seeks to redress the imbalance for young girls of colour by empowering them to break new ground for themselves and to inspire others in the process.

Illustrated with striking portraits by ten international South Asian female artists, this is a book for all ages!

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

17. Sultan's Forest 

Age group: 6 to 8

Tiger cub Sultan and his Ammi have a special friend they call Junglee Bina because she loves the jungle. Bina wanders there for hours, unafraid, and taking photographs. It is these stunning photos that show Sultan's life in the Ranthambore forest, even as he tells the story of a warm relationship between a woman and the wild! 

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

18. Susie Will Not Speak

Age group: 6 to 8

 Jahan’s best friend Susie has a lisp. The boys in the park tease her and call her Thoothie and the kids at school laugh at her. Fed up, Susie decides to stops speaking. What is Jahan to do with a best friend who won’t speak?

Buy this book now!

Toka Shop | Amazon India

19. 10 Women Who Were the First to Do What They Did

Age group: 8 years +

 

A triple treat from Shruthi Rao -- this book is a wonderful compendium of stories about women in India who were the first to do what they did, and they did some pretty interesting things. Of course, they were doctors, lawyers, activists and politicians at a time when these industries were severely under-represented by women but what we really love about this book is that it isn't just another list of people and their achievements. Shruthi Rao begins with a compelling story - did you, for instance, know that the first-ever organized strike of factory workers was coordinated by a woman, Anusuya Sarabhai? Here's another interesting fact -- Anusuya was not from the mill worker community at all. She came from a family of mill owners! Shruthi connects this to other women-led labor movements around the world. Important connections are made to the past and present scenarios. Such writing really gets children's minds firing away about many possibilities.

Another amazing fact -- India is one of the few countries in the world where women could get medical degrees in the nineteenth century. There is a reason for this anomaly because women lawyers, engineers, and civil writers only made their appearances in the twentieth century. To find out, do read this absolute treasure of a book!


Buy this book now!

Amazon US | Amazon India



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