picture book reviews

#RealMomsRecommend: Top 10 Family Favorites

family favorites

I am absolutely thrilled to invite Moms to talk about their Families Favourite books to read aloud! And today in the first of hopefully many many such posts, I feature Shweta Kalyanasundaram, whom I met on Instagram a while ago when we hosted our very first #BookishMomsandBeyond Challenge! I loved her book choices and her little reviews. 

family favorites

I recently came to know that she doesn’t blog [yet] and pestered her enough times to talk about her favorite books to read aloud as a family! I can say her little Munchkin is so blessed to have a Mom who gives LOT of care when selecting books for her. Gender equality, and self – acceptance are the themes that sing out to me! I love her recommendations and I hope you find your next favorite book here 🙂 So over to @BerrySwirl21 [ aka Shweta’s Insta Handle] who writes short reviews for each of her favorite books

1. I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

The book is bright and colorful and has quirky illustrations. The rhymes and words are funny enough to keep them engaged. We love the message that the books leaves – the book tells them to accept themselves the way they are, no matter what others might think. The book has several layers that go beyond bullying and self-acceptance. Self-esteem doesn’t come easy with Lil A. This book comforts her and reiterates to her that she is not alone.

“I like myself, I’m glad I’m me – there’s no else I’d rather be” – is our daily mantra. Self-esteem is a warm empowering book that is a part of our morning ritual.

BUY i Like Myself!

2. Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Image result for Dear Girl by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Lil A needs constant reassurances. And this book is perfect! This book tells her that it’s okay to be who she is. The premise of this book is to be yourself, to try new things, to ask questions and to match to the best of their leavedrum. Every page is a reminder that she’s special and loved

And the warm fuzzy hugs and kitty kisses that follow soon after the book is read always kicks off our day to a lovely start. Buy Dear Girl

3. My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

Image result for My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis

When my daughter turned four, she entered a phase where she thought certain things and colors were only for boys and girls. These two books were perfect to break the stereotypes.

My Princess Boy is a lovely book on compassion and acceptance. It encourages empathy. Lil A has a lovely friend who is a princess boy. And this book helped us a lot, I included. This book is a must for those wanting to raise an open-minded, well-grounded kid. Buy My Princess Boy!

4. Pink and Blue by Ritu Vaishnav

Image result for pink and blue picture book

This beautiful book uses everyday situations to gently put across the, the ridiculousness of gender stereotyping.  This book leaves a lot of scope for discussion. Buy Pink and Blue!

5. The Why Why Girl by Mahasweta Devi

This book focuses on the importance of questioning and intellectual curiosity. This book suggests that asking questions and seeking knowledge can liberate us all.

Buy The Why-Why Girl

6. The Big Book of Why (published by TIP)

Family Favorites

This book focuses on the importance of questioning and intellectual curiosity. This book suggests that asking questions and seeking knowledge can liberate us all.

Buy The Irrelevant Project’s The Big Book of WHy!

7. Maya Angelou (Little People Big Dreams)

Maya Angelou – a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace – rose to become a woman whose life and words touched, challenged and inspired countless people, me included. What stands out is how she loved her life. She moved the world with unshakable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. Maya owned every aspect of her life and I’m hoping that someday Lil A does.

Buy Maya Angelo 

8. Lachmi’s War by Geeta Dharmarajan 

This book narrates the story of an evil demon who wants to rule the world.

In the process, he poisons the minds of the villagers to keep their girls home and not educate them, lest they take over the world. In comes Lachmi who invoked the idea of women’s education, and their liberation. The intent of this book is inevitably to promote equality.

The book ends with some thoughtful open-ended questions and a “Think. Ask. Discuss.” section and I am waiting for Lil A to grow up so that I can engage her in a conversation about the theme of this book. This book is one of the five feminist picture books from Katha and these books encourage girls to grow up self-reliant and confident.

Buy Lachmi’s War

9. Housework is Everyone’s Work by Kamla Bhasin

This is a book of rhymes that challenges sexist attitudes in families. These rhymes show working moms and fathers are seen cooking and cleaning. This helps kids internalize better ideas about gender roles. These rhymes were written three decades back but continue to ruffle feathers even today.

10. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman


Our day ends with this lovely prayer/ lullaby about a Self-esteem baby who grows into a brave, adventurous young woman. The text is empowering but not cliched. The artwork is absolutely beautiful. NG has a way with words and they spell magic. He has written down what I could never hope to articulate on my own – my hopes and dreams for Lil A. I hope someday Lil A passed this book down to her own. Thank you, NG for this wonderful gem! BUY Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman

About Shweta – 

Family favorites

Shwetha, a full-time archeobibliologist, spends a good portion of her day digging into good books and raising a reader in Lil A. She is taking baby steps to create an equitable environment (free from stereotypes) for her junior and uses books and storytelling as a medium to impart positive life lessons.

Follow her on Instagram [www.instagram.com/berryswirl21]

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama’s regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children’s and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

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12 thoughts on “#RealMomsRecommend: Top 10 Family Favorites

  1. Love the recommendations, I feel we all need to break the barriers of stereotype for our kids and there can’t be a better way to do this than by telling stories. Can you please suggest the right age to introduce these books? My son is 2.8 years old.

  2. This is a great collection of books and such varied topics. I will check them out as I want my child to move away from fairy tales and read stories close to life.

  3. Wow. I must admit that I have never ever heard of these books and each of them sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing this list. Am pinning it to go back as reference!

  4. Veena, I absolutely love your book reccos. I take screenshots or bookmark your blogs. My list is increasing and I can’t thank you enough to open up the world of such amazing books for kiddos.

I love to hear your thoughts!

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