Empowering Children’s Books for Holiday Gifts

Gift giving is a holiday staple that brings joy to all. However, selecting the perfect gift for the children in your life may be a challenge, especially if you don’t have children of your own. That being said, you don’t have to look too far for the perfect gift with empowering children’s books like these. Not only will the recipient love them, but their parents will also appreciate the positive messaging.

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry & Vashti Harrison (click here)

A book based on an Oscar-winning short film of the same name, Hair Love is an empowering tale of a young girl and the unique, amazing hair atop her head.

The story promotes self-confidence while simultaneously showcasing the powerful bond between a father and daughter. In short, the story normalizes the natural beauty of African American hair and lets young readers know that our differences are what make us special.

Natalie Portman’s Fables by Natalie Portman & Janna Mattia (click here)

We all grew up listening to fables such as The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Little Pigs, and Country Mouse and City Mouse, but Natalie Portman turns these classics on their head with a modern twist.

Natalie Portman’s Fables reimagines the classic fable as shedding light on green living while also teaching young readers the importance of empathy and being mindful of their actions. While there are only three stories reimagined, and the language is sometimes advanced for young readers, the lessons in these stories paired with educational verbiage make this selection a must-read for all children.

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines & Julianna Swaney (click here)

These days, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the divisiveness of the world we live in. That’s why Joanna Gaines’ recent work feels like a breath of fresh air, and more relevant than ever, especially as we teach the next generations how to be better.

The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be is a story about acceptance, at its heart, celebrating diversity while also promoting the idea that we’re stronger together. This celebration isn’t only apparent in the story’s text, but also in the beautiful, diverse illustrations that encapsulate the words on every page.

The story encourages teamwork and the importance of acknowledging (while also embracing) our differences. Everything is more beautiful when we come together and rely on those unique qualities that make us different, in the best possible way.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o & Vashti Harrison (click here)

Last, but certainly not least, no list of empowering children’s books would be complete without the amazing work of Lupita Nyong’o, Sulwe. Again, in a time in which the color of your skin often defines how you’re treated by others, the messaging in this 2019 text is more relevant (and powerful) than ever.

Sulwe follows a dark-skinned young girl that longs for lighter skin. Tackling the topic of colorism head-on, the book, one that’s personal to Nyong’o, promotes self-love, regardless of skin tone.

Whether the recipient of this gift is a child of color or not, the messaging is so important for all, as it reminds young readers that you are beautiful in your own way, and being unique is actually a gift. If the astoundingly pertinent messaging doesn’t sell you alone, the captivating illustrations certainly will.

Whether you need a small purchase to round out your shopping budget or simply ran out of ideas for your niece or nephew, these children’s books will put a smile on the recipient’s (and their parent’s) face!


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