Incredible grannies, determined girls, life-saving professionals and heroines of all shapes and sizes. These books feature characters that are driven, kind and compassionate; they challenge convention and break boundaries and are a great way to introduce little ones to strong female role models.
Daisy from Daisy and the trouble with Giants by Kes Gray | Red Fox
Meet Daisy. She likes playing games, going fishing and not doing as she’s told. Daisy is plucky and loves adventures, and this time, she’s determined to meet a giant! Ever-courageous Daisy dreams of drinking giant lemonades, and eating crunchy creams as big as tractor tyres. But everyone knows if you want to meet a giant, you need a magic bean, so Daisy sets out to find one. Daisy may be fond of getting into a spot of bother, but she’s also spirited, brave and full of life, and loves to speak her mind.
Doris the Doctor from Just the job: Doris the Doctor | Ladybird
Story Town Doctor’s Surgery is very busy. It’s Healthy Heart Day, and lots of people have come to see Doris the doctor for a check-up. Join Doris as she meets her patients and makes sure everyone is healthy and well. This insightful book is a great way to introduce this popular profession to little readers through a positive female role model.
Grannie Island from Katie Morag and the Two Grandmothers by Marie Hedderwick | Red Fox Picture Books
Katie Morag lives on the Island of Struay, across the bay from her Grannie Island. Grannie Island wears dungarees and wellingtons and likes to ride around on her tractor on her farm. She’s not afraid of getting her hands dirty and is a fantastic challenge to gender stereotyping. The indomitable Grannie Island is as resourceful as her granddaughter, and a great character to get to know throughout the Katie Morag series.
Kittie from The Fairytale Hairdresser and Aladdin by Abie Longstaff | Puffin
The Fairytale Hairdresser series is packed full of positive messages for young readers. In this book, Kittie takes a holiday but quickly gets caught up in an exotic adventure. Using her courage, quick thinking and determination, our favourite pink-haired businesswoman saves Aladdin – she’s no damsel in distress! Turning traditional fairytales on their head, this series is interlaced with messages on equality; female role models have successful jobs, and they don’t choose marriage ahead of their careers. The Fairytale Hairdresser shows that girls can enjoy fashion and being 'girly', while being driven, successful and independent too.
Betsey Biggalow from Betsey Biggalow is Here! by Malorie Blackman | Red Fox
Betsey is a little girl with big ideas. She might be the smallest in her family, but Betsey’s intelligence is larger than life - not only does she know how to win at marbles, but she loves to help the world in any way she can. Join Betsey in the sunny Caribbean for these four funny adventures, as she shows you can be pint-sized, but still make a big difference.
Origami Girl from Newspaper Boy and Origami Girl by Michael Foreman | Andersen
Move over Superman, there’s a new hero in town! When Joey the newspaper boy has all his money stolen by a group of bullies, his remaining newspapers magically transform into Origami Girl, a highly original superhero made of words and ideas. Origami Girl takes Joey on an incredible adventure to track down and confront the bullies in this exciting story, written and beautifully illustrated by Michael Foreman. This inventive tale defies superhero convention and shows that girls can be just as heroic as boys.
Anne Frank by Josephine Pool | Red Fox
A real-life heroine, Anne Frank’s diary documented her years living in hiding during the Second World War. This landmark publication affected millions of people around the world, but what was Anne like as a small girl, and how did she come to be in the Secret Annex? This book is a great way to introduce children to Anne’s story, as author Josephine Poole explores how an ordinary little girl came to live such an extraordinary life.
The Firewoman in When I Grow Up: Firefighter | Ladybird
Aspiring firefighters will love this introduction to the job of a firefighter, showing what daily life is like in the fire station and what they do in an emergency. Find out what they wear, what tools they use and how they keep people safe. Ladybird’s ‘When I Grow Up’ is a beautifully illustrated non-fiction series for little readers who are already thinking about what they could be when they grow up.