I love a good, strong, female character—and I love her even more when she’s the main draw to a story that my daughters want to read again and again and again. Since I know plenty of moms who audibly groan every time their kid grabs one of those licensed character books at bedtime, I thought I’d put together a selection of my favorite books with bad ass girl characters. Some of them are princesses, others are seemingly average girls with fantastically fierce personalities.
Warning: reading these stories regularly may result in raising strong-willed, opinionated girls who are feisty as hell and not so easy to raise. But they’ll grow into girls who will stand up for what they believe in and who will refuse to be pushed around. And I’m totally ok with that.
I love a good kids book. My girls love a good kids book. But let’s be honest. Not everyone feels the love as much as we do. There are plenty of reluctant readers out there and whether they struggle to read or struggle to find something they like to read, it can become a major issue.
Do you know what kids really like though? Stories about themselves.
Enter Lost My Name, a company that makes personalized kids books designed to inspire kids by making the story all about them. They sent us a copy of The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name for Ellie and both of my girls thought it was just about the coolest thing ever.
Poetry gets a really bad rap. Parents often shudder while remembering painstakingly combing through each line to dissect the meaning of a poem in high school. And kids? They just think of it as being boooooo-ring—which is pretty much the worst thing something could be for a kid.
But it doesn’t have to be!
Poetry can be really, really awesome and absolutely hilarious! Brightly (a great online resource to help moms and dads raise lifelong readers) recently published a post called Poetry Is Actually Kinda Cool: Great Poetry Books for Reluctant Poetry Readers. The list is fabulous and includes hilarious, well-loved poets like Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, and Roald Dahl. Since I loved their list so much, I thought I’d expand on it and offer you guys a few more funny poetry books for kids that you and your family will love—mostly because they’re laugh-out-loud funny and utterly ridiculous.
These poetry books for kids are great for reading together when you have little spurts of down time (like when you’re waiting at a doctor’s office), to giggle through on long car rides or to pull out when everyone is starting to meltdown. A little time out to read something super silly is the perfect medicine for moodiness (yours included!).
A couple of months ago, one of the moms in our virtual book club was asking when I started reading chapter books to the girls. The answer was much easier for Ellie than it was for Samantha since I just started dipping my toes into chapter books at bedtime with her (she turned five last month).
Now, I’m not a stick hard and fast to the rules kind of girl. Not every four year old will be able to sit and listen to you read them a chapter. And there might be three year olds who will. You know your kid best. If the little booger will sit through three stories at a time and eats it all up, why not give it a try?
I put together a list of five of our favorite read aloud chapter books for young kids. These aren’t terribly long and there are pictures sprinkled in to help keep your kids’ attention. Plus, each one on this list includes a main character (or two) that your kids can’t help but get attached to.
(And yes, Ellie is wearing a cat costume while looking through books because this is real life and that is what fabulous people do.)
One of my favorite things to do when it comes to reading books to the girls is finding variations of the same tale and reading (or watching) them together. Ellie (who is four) is at a particularly fun age for this. I love to watch her eyes get wide when she notices connections and I love watching her knit her eyebrows together and scrunch up her nose when she doesn’t like a particular deviation from the story she holds as “true.”
Ellie is never more of a stickler than when it comes to the story of Rapunzel. To her, the movie Tangled is gospel and thou shalt not mess with that shit. After a few failed attempts at looking at different versions of the story that just left her annoyed, I decided it was time to move on to another fairy tale.