Books have been a big deal to me since I was a mere ovary twitch. I would speed through boring work at primary school, just so I’d get extra time to read — or write more books. The dorky glasses emoji was based on me. So it makes sense that I’d be obsessing over what’s on my baby iyra’s book shelf before she even sees books as anything other than delicous papery food.
And books should be a big deal to everyone else too. What you grow up hearing read out loud to you and eventually pouring over, has a huge impact on the way your brain is wired. Apparently millenials who mainlined Harry Potter have more empathy and are more likely to see the evil in fascist dictators like Trump. But tbf, don’t think we needed HP for that enlightenment.
With global empathy rates at an all-time low, global temperatures at an all-time high, and billionaires’ aged white male fingers poised over nuke buttons around the world, it’s time your baby’s book shelves woke up.
So here is a short list of kick-ass books your kid needs to inject into its synapses asap. The planet depends on it.
- A is for Activist (0-3 years) An ABC bible for the next generation of punks — perfect for families who want their kids to be unapologetic about environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, feminism and everything else that we sadly still have to fight for.
- Ada Twist, Scientist; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and others in series (5-7 years) Your daughters and sons need to know they can achieve anything. While gendered toys and clothes may be skewed so girls don’t aim as ambitiously in life as boys, beat society by sneaking positive, smart female stories into their bedtime dreams.
- 10 little fingers and 10 little toes, (0-3) Basic human empathy understands we are all the same, no matter our background or what we look like. This book should be a front page freebie in the Daily Mail. Errrrry merrrferkin day, it seems.
- Little people, big dreams: Maya Angelou, Frida Kahlo and others in series (5-8) There are enough books about great men. Share the inspiring stories of some of history’s greatest women, so your kids know who run the world.
- V is for Vegan: The ABCs of being kind (7+) For families that want their kids to understand why they don’t eat aninals or related products in an honest and simple way. Cus the truth is that.
- The Lorax (6-9) There are so many beautiful, important kids books about the environment now. But I’m sticking The Lorax in here as it’s one I grew up with and I ended up working for a climate change charity. So I’m a good guy. Right?
And while these are my faves rn, there are thankfully thousands more where they came from. What is on your baby bookworm’s shelves? Share your totally bodacious anarchist ABCs with us on Instagram using #WokeMamas or contact us.
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