For a very long time, we have seen only one representation in children’s products. This is changing. African children can now see themselves in animation films, dolls and literature. Children’s books on shelves display characters with kinky hair and dark skin. That is not all. These and many explore empowering stories around self-confidence, leadership, ambition, values and identity.

Here are some of the powerful stories you can read to your child.

“Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” by Francesca Cavallo, Elena Favili

In the context of this book, ‘rebel’ means a person who is going above the limits set. The book is a collection of real stories of 100 women. It shares their heroic lives and the marke they have left in different professions: astronaut, engineers, tennis players.

The book is an interesting read for little girls and even boys. They can learn about all these professions and to be reminded that there is no limit to what one can do. Price: KES 1,990.

“Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o

By now you may have known about Lupita’s new book. It is a story about a girl called Sulwe, a Luo word meaning star. She goes on a personal journey to discover that beauty comes from within. The book is a beautiful representation of coloured little girls.

The author hopes to have girls accept themselves inspite of what society defines beauty to be. Price: KSH 2,199.

“Affirmations ABC” by Dorothy Ghettuba Pala

A fun way to teach your children positive affirmations is taking them through the ABCs. The book has 26 affirmations for a child to appreciate themselves more. The book aims to nurture self-confidence and self-appreciation in the little minds.

The book is ideal for children between the ages of 3 to 7. Price: KSH 1,161.

“Harriet’s Humongous Hair” by Ni Lo

Harriet is not happy with sitting still when doing her hair. She later realizes that she needs her mother to help her do her hair. The book is a celebration of kinky, African hair. Price: KSH 1,198

“Hair Love” by Matthew A. Cherry

Zuri has to have her hair made. His father has to learn how to make her hair just the way Zuri likes it. The book recognizes the relationship between fathers and daughters, showing the place of fathers in building self-confidence in their young daughters. It celebrates natural hair too!

The book was adapted into an animation short film. And it won an Oscar this year. Price: KSH 1,055.

“She Persisted” by Chelsea Clinton

The book is about 13 inspirational women who stubbornly do not take for an answer. Chelsea Clinton applauds the courage of these 13 American women who spoke up for what is right and in doing so, they brought change in the country.

This book can awaken the activism in children to speak up for themselves and for others. It reminds them to stand up for what they believe in. It hopes to show them that they can use their voice to bring change. Some of the women featured in the book are: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller and Oprah Winfrey. Price: KSH 1,850.

“Bird Hugs” by Ged Adamson

You can never go wrong with picking a book about animals for a child.

Bernard is a bird with very long wings. He is not able to fly. He wonders why he has wings in the first place if he cannot fly like other birds. He meets a sad ape, leading him to start accepting what makes him different from other birds.

The book was originally published last month. Price: KSH 1,142

“I Said No” by Zack and Kimberly King

In their early years, children need to be taught about body boundaries in a language they can understand. This book offers ways children can address disrespect of personal space when they encounter such a situation. It is also a guide to parents and caregivers on how to teach children about the same. Price: KSH 1,213

“I Can Touch” by Muthoni Muchemi

It is a good thing to show to children that even girls can play football. There are no limits to what one can do. Gender is definitely not a limitation. The book can help your child learn new vocabularies. Price: KSH 290

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison

The book features 40 women creators from around the world. Children can be inspired by the true stories of writers, scientists, environmentalists, filmmakers, architects, and so on who have made an impact. Story of
Environmental activitis the late Wangari Maathai is also featured in the book. Price: KSH 1,145

“Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent and Respect” by Jayneen Sanders

This book teaches children about body boundaries. It offers a guide on how they should treat their personal space and that of others. It teaches children to own their bodies. The book explores self confidence, sense of self, respect of body boundaries in a way a child can easily understand. Price: KSH1,034

“The Magic is Inside You” by Cathy Domoney

Madeleine has a big challenge of negative self-talk. She has to learn to take charge of her thoughts and turn them into a positive attitude. In doing this, she is able to cultuvate a positive self esteem and transform her life successfully.

The book takes a look at different thoughts and emotions children too can experience. It can help them in nurturing emotional intelligence. Price: KSH 1,383

We would love to know, what books are you reading to your child?

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