Recommended reading

I have a running list of our most favorite picture books with strong, creative, dimensional female protagonists, and people have been asking me to share it. This is not exhaustive of all books with female protagonists, but there are far, far fewer than with male protagonists, so good ones are hard to find. These are personal faves, please don't be offended if things you love aren't on my list. Happy to take suggestions though!

My Garden, and the Lily books by Kevin Henkes (he's great in general and deals with interpersonal issues in all their complexity.)

Rosie Revere, Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beatty

Ruby's Sleepover by Kathryn White

The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart

Minette's Feast, by Susanna Reich

The Princess in Black books, by Shannon Hale (there are now 4 of these, and they're sort of picture/chapter).

Interstellar Cinderella, by Deborah Underwood

Violet the Pilot, by Steve Breen

The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Three Cheers for Catherine the Great, by Cari Best (Not about the empress. Also, illustrator is Giselle Potter, one of my favorites).

The Queen of France, Tim Wadham (also not about a historical person)

Everyday Dressup, Selina Alko

Digging Up Dinosaurs and Fossils Tell of Long Ago Aliki (In general the "Let's read and find out science" series has a broad cast of characters)

The Brave Little Seamstress, Mary Pope Osborne

Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue, Naoko Stoop

The Whisper, by Pamela Zagarenski

One Grain of Rice, Demi

Annie and the Wild Animials, by Jan Brett

I Am Jane Goodall, Brad Meltzer

I Am Amelia Earhart, Brad Meltzer

I Am Rosa Parks, Brad Meltzer

Emeraldilicious (but NOT any of the other [color]ilicious books), Victoria Kann

You Can Be My Friend, Lauren Child (Charlie & Lola--note, I like the other ones by Child herself too, the ones that are just based on TV episodes are hit and miss).