Picture Books with Strong Female Protagonists

shelved under Children's Books



by Ludwig Bemelmans

Tsh Oxenreider says:

All the Madeline books have a great cadence of words, and the illustrations are delightful. What little girl doesn't want to live in an old house in Paris that is covered in vines?


Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

illustrated by Kevin Henkes

Lily is an exuberant preschooler who loves her teacher. Her journey through flaunting her grandmother's latest gifts in class (waiting for show and tell was just too hard), getting in trouble, getting angry, feeling awful, apologizing and setting things right strike just the right note.



illustrated by Ian Falconer

Maluhia says:

Olivia is too smart for her own good. I know why I liked it, but I'll tell you why my 4-year-old liked it: Olivia gets time-outs, too.


The Paper Bag Princess

by Robert N. Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko

Shannon Rigney Keane from I'm thinking... says:

Think your daughter is too young to have a conversation about gender roles? She's not. Books like this one, a dear anti-fairytale about a princess who comes to her own rescue, can springboard the conversation. Young girls will intuit the difference between this story and more traditional princess tales, even if they don't have the language to articulate what they're noticing. That's where you come in, Mom.


Brave Irene

illustrated by William Steig

The titular Irene is Irene Bobbin, a dressmaker's daughter. Her mother isn't feeling so well and can't possibly deliver the splendid ball gown she made for the duchess to wear that very night. So brave Irene volunteers to deliver the gown to the palace in time for the ball, in spite of the terrible snowstorm that's brewing — quite an challenge for a such a little girl.