required reading

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I began reading to my daughter Mimi right after she was born, eager to share a love of language and books.  On those long, wet winter days during my maternity leave, I would cozy up on our couch in a room full of natural light, open up Shel Silverstien’s Where the Sidewalk Ends or Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir My Beloved World, and we would read together until Mimi had a need that shifted us elsewhere.

At fifteen months, Mimi plucks a favorite book off of the shelf, hands it to me, then turns around, slowly backing up until she can plop down onto my lap, eyes studying the book as we open it together.

Books are the toys we value most so we have a lot of them.  There are a few, though, that speak to raising a strong little girl who is proud of who she is, kind to others, and full of imagination.  In today’s climate these books feel particularly important to introduce early and often.

And they were particularly helpful in spurring early conversations with Mimi about the Womxn’s March we took her to this weekend in Seattle.

A is for activist by Inosanto Nagara

Courduroy by Don Freeman

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein

One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio and LeUyen Pham

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts

What books would you add to this list?

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