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5 Best Books New & Expecting Parents Should Start Collecting Now

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world,” Malala Yousafzai once powerfully stated at the United Nations in 2013. 

While we may think of Malala’s words applying to teachers in classrooms, anyone can be a teacher, imparting lessons beyond classroom walls. For new and expectant parents, the chance to teach children is one of the great gifts of parenthood and a chance to influence a new generation of changemakers. 

In honor of World Book Day on April 23, here are five books for new parents to add to their reading list. Lessons from empowering women to future generations on taking action, tolerance, diversity, and inclusiveness are all morals in these stories. And while these are children’s books, there are larger lessons for parents to learn from each one. 

Rebel Girls, Elena Favilli

This book includes 100 stories of brave and extraordinary women leaders in all sectors, from sports and science, to art and politics. It’s illustrated by 60 female artists from around the world. “Rebel Girls” features stories of both past and present heroines and their accomplishments. The book includes stories of strong women like activist Harriet Tubman, weightlifter Amna al Haddad, and historic mathematician Hypatia are sure to embolden future generations of Global Citizen trailblazers. 

Priscilla McDoodlenutDoodleMcMae Asks Why?, Janet Mary Sinke

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There are lessons about tolerance, acceptance, and love for parents and children to learn from in this rhyming children’s story. According to one review, the book covers “world peace and how a child's innocence and natural ability to love unconditionally can change a world. It's not preachy, it is not pushy. It is a fun read and a lovely story.” This story is a reminder to always question your world, and never stop asking what else can be done to make it a better place. 

What Would You Do With an Idea?, Kobi Yamada

This is a story for everyone. It’s about a child who has an idea; as that child grows, so too, does his idea. At first the child is afraid and reluctant to embrace his idea but later he finds a confidence that allows him to accept his idea and share it with the world. It’s a beautiful tale of courage, listening to your own intuition, and never being afraid to take action. 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, Carol McCloud

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In this story the “Golden Rule” is taught in a simple and straightforward way for children and adults to understand. Each day everyone in the community carries an invisible bucket, when a person does or says something nice, you fill up your own bucket and theirs. The moral of the story is that by doing good for others, we are helping ourselves, and the community as a whole. It’s a great reminder that each positive action makes a difference. 

Princess and the Pony, Kate Beaton

Don’t let the title fool you. While this story begins with a young warrior princess who is disappointed by her pony’s lack of physical fitness, the moral is one of inclusivity and diversity. The book is filled with illustrations of people, and ponies, of all shapes and sizes. And the ending will literally leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.