A couple of weeks ago I wrote a rant on facebook where I asked for recommendations for “books with strong female characters which are suitable for 4 to 5 yearolds. Characters who can think for themselves. And get shit done. Without a prince. Or without trying to impress a prince.”

I got loads of great suggestions from my friends:

Lists of books


  • Zita The Spacegirl” - Brilliant. Both my kids love this series of three books (Olive is 6 and Max is 3).
  • The Ordinary Princess”, written and illustrated by M. M. Kaye, 1980 (thanks to Tim Colbourn for the suggestion)
  • Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?”, 2003 (thanks to Emily Hadad for the suggestion)
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer”, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, 2013 (thanks to Alexandra Da Cunha and Lars-eric Rödén for the suggestion)
  • “Dumbrava minunata” by Mihail Sadoveanu (Romanian) “About a girl and her dog being lost in the woods. Might not be able to find it in English though.” (thanks to Andreea Babiuc for the suggestion)
  • The Paper Bag Princess”, Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko, 2009 (thanks to Joanna Riddoch-Contreras for the suggestion)
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”, Quotes from a Guardian article about the project: “‘dream’ Kickstarter success: Illustrated book intended to inspire girls to ‘bigger goals’ tells the stories of 100 great women and scores runaway hit on fundraising site” (thanks to Gemma Payne for the link)
  • Matilda and BFG by Rhold Dahl (thanks to @pdubya for the suggestion)
  • Not All Princesses Dress in Pink” -“Princesses come in all kinds. Exuberant text from Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Yolen Stemple paired with charming illustrations prove that girls can jump in mud puddles and climb trees, play sports and make messes”