100 books like What Are Little Girls Made Of?

By Jeanne Willis, Isabelle Follath (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that What Are Little Girls Made Of? fans have personally recommended if you like What Are Little Girls Made Of?. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

Amika Kroll Author Of Strut, Baby, Strut

From my list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love getting lost in books because I get to experience more adventures than I could possibly fit into one lifetime. Books invite the exploration of limitless possibilities—for everyone. When a book can fire my imagination, make me feel a connection, or just make me think deeplythat’s magic, whether it was meant to be fiction or not. I want to write books that do that for others. For this list specifically, I wanted to pick books that encourage girls to embrace the notions that they are allowed to dream really big dreams, that the goals they set for themselves are worth pursuing, and that we all deserve room to be our authentic selves.

Amika's book list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination

Amika Kroll Why did Amika love this book?

I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the cover is indeed what got me! I immediately wished someone had captured an image of me looking amazing and strong like the girl featured. I mean, how cool to have a picture that really reflects oneself, so unlike the stiff and awkwardly posed school pics that decorated my home growing up. Her stance and expression just spoke to me and I immediately loved that this book celebrated her strength and presence.  And not just hers! Many, many girls of various ages and backgrounds are photographed doing something that makes them feel good or strong or real. This book is a catalog of photos and words that celebrate girls being their authentic selves. I want that for all the little girls, and all the little girls who have grown up too. 

By Kate T. Parker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Strong Is the New Pretty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspired by the popular photo project of the same title that went viral in the spring of 2015, Strong Is the New Pretty is a photo-driven book comprised of 100 high-quality black-and-white and color images (with minimal text) of fierce and joyful girls--a celebration of what it means to be strong (whether athletic, bookish, brainy, brave, loyal, or courageous). The photographs champion the message that girls are perfect in their imperfection; beautiful in their chaotic, authentic lives; and empowered by their strength instead of their looks. They are messy. They are loud. Wild. Full of life. Adventurous. Silly. Funny. Strong.


Book cover of Reach for the Stars

Amika Kroll Author Of Strut, Baby, Strut

From my list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love getting lost in books because I get to experience more adventures than I could possibly fit into one lifetime. Books invite the exploration of limitless possibilities—for everyone. When a book can fire my imagination, make me feel a connection, or just make me think deeplythat’s magic, whether it was meant to be fiction or not. I want to write books that do that for others. For this list specifically, I wanted to pick books that encourage girls to embrace the notions that they are allowed to dream really big dreams, that the goals they set for themselves are worth pursuing, and that we all deserve room to be our authentic selves.

Amika's book list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination

Amika Kroll Why did Amika love this book?

Frankly, I like this book because it reminds me so much of mine! Reach for the stars—you can do it! I love it! Straight from the cradle, all the way to adulthood, give love and encouragement! Although this story follows a little girl growing up with many illustrations that include her mother, this book could easily resonate with any adult/child pairing. All those beautiful moments in life where we share and growwhat’s not to celebrate? Warm fuzzies all around.

By Emily Calandrelli, Honee Jang (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reach for the Stars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From Emmy-nominated science TV star and host of Netflix’s hit series Emily’s Wonder Lab Emily Calandrelli comes an inspirational message of love and positivity.

From the moment we are born, we reach out. We reach out for our loved ones, for new knowledge and experiences, and for our dreams!

Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of the world around us, this uplifting book will inspire readers of every age. A celebration of love and shared discovery, this book will encourage readers to reach for the stars!


Book cover of A Girl Like Me

Amika Kroll Author Of Strut, Baby, Strut

From my list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love getting lost in books because I get to experience more adventures than I could possibly fit into one lifetime. Books invite the exploration of limitless possibilities—for everyone. When a book can fire my imagination, make me feel a connection, or just make me think deeplythat’s magic, whether it was meant to be fiction or not. I want to write books that do that for others. For this list specifically, I wanted to pick books that encourage girls to embrace the notions that they are allowed to dream really big dreams, that the goals they set for themselves are worth pursuing, and that we all deserve room to be our authentic selves.

Amika's book list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination

Amika Kroll Why did Amika love this book?

I like this book because it encourages girls to dream and dream big! You’re a superhero with your own sense of style? Cool. Having an amazing ocean adventure? Awesome. This book encourages girls to hold onto their dreams despite pressure from others who wish they would conform. Dreams are where some of my best ideas come from and I’ve always thought that it’s a shame to dream about the mundane. The more fantastical, the better! Dreams can be the start of a real-life great idea. I like this book because it invites girls to think about who they are and imagine all the possibilities for themselves.  

By Angela Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Girl Like Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"[A] rallying cry for girls to reject limitations others might place on them and their dreams."—starred,The Horn Book Magazine


"Once I dreamed I swam / the ocean / and saw everything deep,
cool / and was part of the waves. / I swam on by the people / onshore /
hollering, / 'A girl like you needs to / stay out of the water / and be dry /
like everyone else.'"


Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and…


Book cover of Ambitious Girl

Amika Kroll Author Of Strut, Baby, Strut

From my list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love getting lost in books because I get to experience more adventures than I could possibly fit into one lifetime. Books invite the exploration of limitless possibilities—for everyone. When a book can fire my imagination, make me feel a connection, or just make me think deeplythat’s magic, whether it was meant to be fiction or not. I want to write books that do that for others. For this list specifically, I wanted to pick books that encourage girls to embrace the notions that they are allowed to dream really big dreams, that the goals they set for themselves are worth pursuing, and that we all deserve room to be our authentic selves.

Amika's book list on encouraging girls to pursue self determination

Amika Kroll Why did Amika love this book?

I love that this book encourages girls to be ambitious, speak up, and be confident. I think that when girls are shamed into silence, false meekness, or restrained by pointless societal conventions, everyone loses. In this book, Harris’ main character won’t be deterred by damaging words that try to label her “too loud, too assertive, etc.” just because she’s a girl. She is encouraged to tell the world who she is, not the other way around. My choices and my voice are precious to me and I am painfully aware that not all females have these truly precious things.

By Meena Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ambitious Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

In this inspiring picture book from New York Times-bestselling author Meena Harris, a young girl sees words like "too ambitious" and "too assertive" being yelled at a strong woman on TV and it sends her on a journey of discovery through past, present, and future about the limits put on women and girls and the ways in which they can resist, assist, coexist, and excel.

As Ambitious Girl says:

No "too that" or "too this"
will stop what's inside me from flowering
From now on, when I hear "too that" or "too this"
I won't mind - it's empowering!

And…


Book cover of Humphrey the Egg-Splorer

Helen H. Wu Author Of Long Goes to Dragon School

From my list on children’s reads about perseverance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author, illustrator, translator, and book reviewer. I’m the author of Tofu Takes Time, illustrated by Julie Jarema, and Long Goes To Dragon School, illustrated by Mae Besom. I was born and raised in Hefei, China, and moved to the US in my 20s. Being fascinated by the differences and similarities between cultures, I love to share stories that empower children to understand the world and our connections. Children’s picture books have the potential to pass on the joy from generation to generation. As an art lover, I also find it very entertaining and soothing to simply enjoy the artwork of picture books. 

Helen's book list on children’s reads about perseverance

Helen H. Wu Why did Helen love this book?

It’s a funny egg tale. Humphrey has long known the cautionary tale of his grandfather, Humpty Dumpty. Eggs are fragile and bought specifically to be cracked... but what if they don’t want to be cracked and have their own ambitions and goals for life, like becoming a great egg-splorer? Humphrey’s daring and determination to become a great explorer allows him to come up with creative solutions to his problem. His imagination knows no bounds and creates delightful spreads sure to appeal to readers. This rollicking story expands the famous tale of a fragile egg to a new story about bravery, creativity, and forging your own path.

By Nadia Ali, Valenti Gubianas (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Humphrey the Egg-Splorer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A rollicking story that expands the famous tale of a fragile egg to a new story about bravery, creativity, and forging your own path.

Eggs are fragile and bought specifically to be cracked. . . but what if they don't want to be cracked and have their own ambitions and goals for life like becoming a great egg-splorer? Humphrey has long known the cautionary tale of his grandfather, Humpty Dumpty. Being an egg means he can easily slip and crack at any time . . . but what does that mean for his dreams of becoming an egg-splorer and going…


Book cover of The Big Over Easy

Jane Tesh Author Of Over the Edge

From my list on readers who have had it with dystopian angst.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had the great good fortune to be born into a wonderful Southern family whose idea of a good time was to gather on the front porch and tell jokes and stories. I was also blessed with a detailed fantasy life and a host of imaginary friends who developed into characters for my books. My favorite books to read have a good balance of humor and drama, nothing too grim, please, and if they are inventive and clever, then I’m all in. As for my own books, I strive to keep that balance of light and dark. I’m very lucky to have six fantasy novels published so far.

Jane's book list on readers who have had it with dystopian angst

Jane Tesh Why did Jane love this book?

Jasper Fforde is an author whose works defy description. Mystery, fantasy, time travel, and delightful humor are all found in his work, plus there is enough wordplay and literary references to please an English major like me. I had the opportunity to hear him speak, and he is just as entertaining as his books. My favorite is The Big Over Easy. Jack Spratt and Mary Mary of the Nursery Crime Division investigate the death of Humpty Dumpty. Did he fall or was he pushed? Add the evil Goliath Company, friendly aliens, and a rampaging Gingerbread Man, and you will see every nursery rhyme and fairy tale character in a totally new light. If you are looking for something completely original, try the Nursery Crime Division series!

By Jasper Fforde,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Big Over Easy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's Easter in Reading - a bad time for eggs - and no one can remember the last sunny day. Humpty Dumpty, well-known nursery favourite, large egg, ex-convict and former millionaire philanthropist is found shattered beneath a wall in a shabby area of town.

Following the pathologist's careful reconstruction of Humpty's shell, Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his Sergeant Mary Mary are soon grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, the illegal Bearnaise sauce market, corporate politics and the cut and thrust world of international Chiropody.

As Jack and Mary stumble around the streets of Reading in Jack's…


Book cover of After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)

Joan Budilovsky Author Of Floretta

From my list on to help grieving children open up about death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up living above our family funeral home. My parents were exceptionally compassionate people. I learned through their kind upbringing that heaven was and is, here and now. Death was not only an inevitable part of life but a daily part. As an adult, I became a Yoga Teacher. Yoga means union. It's an exploration into the intimate balance between body and mind. One particular yoga pose essential to every single class – Savasana or Corpse PoseA coincidence a young girl raised in a funeral home would end up teaching daily classes of corpse pose? I think not. And through it all bloomed Floretta. The story of life and death coming together into a magnificent circular experience. Bilingual yet parallel worlds amidst beautiful chakra colors.

Joan's book list on to help grieving children open up about death

Joan Budilovsky Why did Joan love this book?

I firmly believe a great children’s book is a great adult’s book too. This one sure fits the bill. Humpty Dumpty has that infamous fall off the wall and what happens to him afterward is funny, healing, and magically majestic. If you know of a child (or adult) in the hospital or simply someone having difficult times, this is a book of humor, acceptance, and creative transformation. It’s a permanent fixture on my bookshelf.

By Dan Santat,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? This captivating picture book from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher who loves to be high up on the city wall. But after his fall, Humpty is terrified of heights and can no longer do his favourite things. He finally pulls together the courage to climb back up the wall. In a surprise twist, Humpty transforms, turning into a magnificent bird, and learns that sometimes you have to fall... before you can fly.


Book cover of The Fourth Bear

Victoria Pearson Author Of Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale

From my list on dark fairytales.

Why am I passionate about this?

GK Chesterton reportedly said that "fairytales are more than true: not because they teach us that dragons are real, but because they teach us dragons can be beaten." This rings true to me; I've been fascinated by the darker side of fairytales since childhood, when I used them to escape and make sense of my own dark experiences. Stories that began as oral traditions are my favourite, a blend of entertainment for long nights around a fire, and cautionary tales that teach us to fear the wolf, and beware of that which seems too good to be true. Old stories teach us what it means to be human. I hope you enjoy these.

Victoria's book list on dark fairytales

Victoria Pearson Why did Victoria love this book?

The Fourth Bear is possibly too light to be included in a list of dark fairytales, but the main character is a classic, almost noir type detective, so maybe it's ok. Nursery Crime Division, to be exact. I think Jasper Fforde may be to blame for my desire to write Jack and the Beanstalk as a dark gritty courtroom drama (maybe one day!), he blends genres together so seamlessly, and I long to be able to do it as well as he does. There's a terrifying serial killer on the loose, and I was as on the edge of my seat as I am with any thriller, even though I knew that killer was The Gingerbread Man. It follows the plot of a standard police procedural/thriller, while including Punch and Judy, Goldilocks, an illegal porridge ring, and a murderous biscuit....or is The Gingerbread Man a cake? I absolutely adore the…

By Jasper Fforde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fourth Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Return to the world of the Nursery Crime Division in this novel from Jasper Fforde, the New York Times bestselling author of the Thursday Next series and The Constant Rabbit

The inimitable Jasper Fforde gives readers another delightful mash-up of detective fiction and nursery rhyme, returning to those mean streets where no character is innocent. The Gingerbreadman-sadist, psychopath, cookie-is on the loose in Reading, but that's not who Detective Jack Spratt and Sergeant Mary Mary are after. Instead, they've been demoted to searching for missing journalist "Goldy" Hatchett. The last witnesses to see her alive were the reclusive Three Bears,…


Book cover of Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

Tracy C. Gold Author Of Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat

From my list on Halloween picture books with cute illustrations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a huge fan of Halloween and love decorating my porch to greet our neighborhood kids. This past year I gave away a couple dozen copies of my own picture books along with candy, which was a huge hit. I live in Baltimore with my family, including my silly, spooky kid, and love animals, especially dogs and horses. This past Halloween, my daughter wanted to dress up as a dentist, of all things, so my husband and I went along dressed up as giant teeth. She never got the irony of asking for candy while dressed as a dentist. We’ll have to wait until she is older for that. 

Tracy's book list on Halloween picture books with cute illustrations

Tracy C. Gold Why did Tracy love this book?

This book is so darn cute! I love the fresh takes on familiar nursery rhymes. I always chuckle when I read the clever new twists (which are only a little spooky). The illustrations are a teeny bit scary, but mostly super cute. When you read this book, you can go all the way through, or just pick one nursery rhyme at a time to chant with the kids. 

By Rachel Kolar, Roland Garrigue (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mother Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From "Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary" to "Wee Willie Werewolf," this collection of classic nursery rhymes turned on their heads will give readers the chills--and a serious case of belly laughs. With clever rhyme and spooky illustrations, Mother Ghost is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit. Boo!


Book cover of The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon

Barbara Lehman Author Of Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake

From my list on upcycled tales for children all told with a twist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love the experience of reading a book that combines a known (to me or not!) story combined with elements that make it new again. It could be a parody, a “fractured fairy tale,” or a new retelling, funny or serious. For my book Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake, I read so many nursery rhymes and fairy tales in order to populate the town with fun versions of recognizable characters for Little Red to encounter, it makes me appreciate these books even more.

Barbara's book list on upcycled tales for children all told with a twist

Barbara Lehman Why did Barbara love this book?

The author/illustrator of the truly hilarious Traction man is here! answers the burning question I know I have always had: what happened after the dish and spoon ran away? Spirited illustration and a rollicking storyline imagine the fate of the runaway kitchenware, leading to a final redemption after many wild adventures. A reminder that peripheral characters can have complex lives too.

By Mini Grey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Hey Diddle Diddle
The Cat and the Fiddle
The Cow jumped over the Moon.
The Little Dog laughed
To see such fun
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon

That's the bit we know - but have you ever wondered what happened next? Mini Grey, the creator of such favourites as Biscuit Bear and The Pea and the Princess, has this brilliantly funny and wonderfully inventive suggestion, narrated by one of the principal players - the Spoon himself.

Part love story, part crime caper, The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon is the rags-to-riches and back again tale…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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