baby feminists: a lift-the-flap book by Libby Babbott-Klein, illustrated by Jessica Walker
Working as a bookseller for almost twenty years, starting in 1995, I saw many trends, changes and often improvements in the quality and kind of kid's books I was selling. Board books, in particular, underwent a huge change during my years working in the kid's department. While I always believed that a child is never too young to explore a book (board books were everywhere in my house and car when my three kids were little) it took me a while to come around to the idea that a child is never too young to learn an adult concept, especially one that I value deeply. Today, there is no doubt in my mind that our children - our babies - need to have the names of important leaders, creators, innovators and humanitarians in their vocabulary from the start, as well as concepts like equity, social justice and feminism. These are the foundations for people they will become. Of course, this needs to be done with thoughtfulness and purpose, which is exactly what author Libby Babbott-Klein and illustrator Jessica Walker bring to baby feminists: a lift-the-flap book.
Each page begins, "Before she . . ." An image of the feminist as an adult lifts to reveal the feminist as a baby, enforcing the idea that we all start somewhere. And, if you are a parent, you know that babies love looking at other babies. Walker's colorful illustrations pop off a white background and are sure to grab the attention of little "readers." Babbott-Klein's choice of eight feminists (RBG, Mae Jemison, Frida Kahlo, Gloria Steinem & Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Billie Jean King, Michelle & Barack Obama, Yoko Ono and Malala Yousafzai) is a wonderful starter selection of recognizable people who have, "fought tirelessly for gender equality." A two page spread at the end of the book provides birth years and brief biographies of these extraordinary people. These are names that, hopefully, children will hear often as they grow up. And, having read baby feminists in their early years, they will both recognize these names and hopefully have a spark of curiosity that leads them to learn more. Happily, there are more and more superb books for young readers about the many women who contribute so much to the world we live in.
Source: Review Copy