Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are nice stories, but if you want your daughter to dream of more than just kissing the prince, the following books may help. These are just a few of the many excellent children's stories available that are full of strong, adventurous, smart girls that can grow up to be absolutely anything they desire.
by Lloyd Alexander
This excellent series (based on Welsh mythology) features Princess Eilonwy — a strong-willed, sarcastic girl who comes from a long line of powerful female enchantresses. While she accompanies the adventurous Taran, assistant pig keeper, on his quests, she frequently has to haul him out of trouble. There's lots of magic and action in this series, and I think adults will be in for a treat as well. (Ages 9-12)
by Steve Voake, illustrated by Jessica Meserve
Daisy Dawson is a carefree little girl who finds out she can talk to animals. Daisy is always late for school and is extremely curious. Go on her adventures with her and meet an incredible menagerie of animals all with their own wonderful personalities. Sweet stories (there are other books in this series) and lovely, simple illustrations really add to the fun element to the stories. (Ages 4-8)
by Sophie Blackall, Annie Barrows
Ivy always has her nose in a book, and spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to be a witch. Bean is a wild and fun-loving and loves to run barefoot. She also likes to poke her nose in other people's business. Despite their different personalities the two become friends. In this first book in the series Bean finds herself in a pickle and Ivy helps her out with a spell. This books was an ALA Children's Notable Book for 2007 and one of the Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2006. (Ages 4-8)
by Lane Smith
A very confident Katy walks through her day pretending she is President. She gives executive orders to refill her breakfast plate with waffles, a presidential veto to the school cafeteria's tuna casserole, and a negotiates a peace treaty between a dog and a cat. Katy never questions whether a female can become commander-in-chief; instead she behaves as if she already is President. I think youngsters as well as adults will get a big chuckle out of Katy. I love that she chose her piggy bank for her Secretary of the Treasury. (Ages 4-8)
by Elizabeth Baguley, illustrated by Gregoire Mabire
When Meggie Moon visits the Junkyard, Tiger and Digger don't know what to think. This is their special place and Meggie is a girl. The boys soon discover that Meggie is full of wonderful ideas from building a pirate ship to building a race car. This story will delight girls and boys alike. (Ages 4-8)
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. more...
About Leah Smith
Leah lives near Washington D.C. and is an obsessive list maker. She loves lists so much that she creates topical bibliographies -- for fun. She also collects volvelles, nutcrackers, unusual names and map hankies. She talks about books and many other things on her blog, Fig Newtons and Scotch.
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