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18 Picture Books that Celebrate Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month! Each picture book on this list tells an inspiring — and sometimes little-known — story with lots of additional information such as timelines, author’s notes, and more. From human rights activists, inventors, and politicians to musicians and artists, young readers will learn all about innovative women who paved the way so kids today can follow their passions and change the world.

New in 2024:

Fannie Farmer, America’s most famous cooking teacher, discovers that precise measurements are a recipe for cooking success in this STEAM picture book that includes two of her classic recipes.

For fans of All-of-a-Kind Family, here is the true story of how Sarah Brenner, a poor girl from New York City’s Lower East Side, became Sydney Taylor: dancer, actress, and successful children’s book author.

Annie Londonderry proves women can do anything they set their minds to—even cycle around the world—in this nonfiction picture book for cycling enthusiasts, budding travelers, and anyone who dreams of reaching a difficult goal.

How did the Joshua Tree National Park in California come to be? Meet Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, an artist, activist, and environmentalist, whose determination saved the desert and helped to create the park, in this STEAM picture book.

In this STEAM picture book, take to the skies with Mary Myers, aka “Carlotta,” an aeronaut and inventor whose careful scientific work improved hot air balloons and our understanding of flight, weather patterns, and the atmosphere.

This lively STEAM picture book is about the life of Gene Stratton-Porter, a pioneering wildlife photographer and popular author from the late 19th and early 20th century, who showed the world the beauty of nature, especially birds, and why it was worth preserving.

Browse more from our collection!

How did Julia Child become one of America’s most celebrated and beloved chefs? Her grandnephew reveals her story in this picture book that Jacques Pepin calls a “vivid portrait . . . an enjoyable read.” Julia’s kid-friendly recipe for Oeufs Brouillés (Scrambled Eggs) is included! CCBC Choices 2023; Texas Library Association Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List

A courageous girl follows her dream of learning to fly in this “clever narrative” filled with “extraordinary spirit… gorgeous colors… a magical quality” (New York Times). Inspired by formerly imprisoned human rights activist Loujain AlHathloul, this sparkling fantasy story is perfect for fans of Malala’s Magic Pencil and the Rebel Girls series.

In this real-life adventure, daredevil and groundbreaking journalists Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland race against each other–and the clock–as they circle the globe by ship, train, and foot. Join these two stereotype-shattering reporters as they prove that not only is traveling around the world possible, but that women are just as curious, capable, and courageous as any man. A Bank Street Best Book of the Year

This powerful tribute to Civil War nurse Clara Barton and her heroic efforts during the Battle of Antietam reveals how she earned the name “The Angel of the Battlefield,” and shows the beginnings of her journey as one of our country’s greatest humanitarians and the founder of the American Red Cross. TLA Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List;
Eureka! Nonfiction Silver Honor Award

Who was Coretta Scott King? Her black-veiled image at the funeral of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was moving and iconic. This book introduces readers to the woman behind the veil—a girl full of spunk and pluck, bravery and grit. A 2023 Horn Book Fanfare Book; Center for the Studies of Multicultural Children’s Literature Best Book of 2023; 2023 Eureka! Nonfiction Childrens’ Honor Award;
A Chicago Public Library Best Book

The inspirational story of Mary Sherman, the world’s first female rocket scientist, who overcame gender barriers and many failures to succeed. A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids;

Named a NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book and NSTA Best STEM Book list 2021, this riveting nonfiction picture book biography explores both the failures and successes of self-taught engineer Emma Lilian Todd as she tackles one of the greatest challenges of the early 1900s: designing an airplane.

Meg Lowman was determined to investigate the marvelous, undiscovered world of the rainforest treetops. Meg’s perseverance and creativity allowed her to achieve this goal, but when this fantastic ecosystem started to disappear, Meg needed to act quickly. 2022 Green Earth Book Award Winner;
NCSS Septma Clark Award, Elementary Level Honoree;
NSTA/CBC Best STEM Book; Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award

Here is the story of “Hot Miss Lil” Hardin Armstrong, legendary jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader—and a female pioneer on the music stage.

Led by twenty-five-year-old Grace Banker, thirty-two telephone operators — affectionately called “Hello Girls” back in the US — became the first female combatants in World War I.NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book;
NCSS Septma Clark Award, Elementary Level Honoree;
Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year

In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation. A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year;
NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book; ILA Children’s Book Award Nonfiction Honor; Winner of Bank Street College of Education’s Flora Stieglitz Straus Award

Written in the same vein as the recent best-selling titles I Dissent and She Persisted, here is a nonfiction picture book biography of Belva Lockwood, a lawyer, activist, and presidential candidate who devoted her life to overcoming obstacles and demanding equality for women.