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    Posted on Mar 14, 2016

    20 Must-Read Children's Books With A Message

    Because even preschoolers can be woke baes.

    1. I Am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer

    Dial Books / Via bradmeltzer.com

    A pint-size biography that tackles an American icon and the civil rights movement, with amazing illustrations to boot. Part of the author's inspiring Ordinary People Change The World series, which teaches kids about such game-changers as Amelia Earhart, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Jackie Robinson.

    2. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers / Via amazon.com

    A young boy journeys through the city on the bus with his nana, learning lessons about the world we live in along the way.

    3. Red by Michael Hall

    Dial Books / Via amazon.com

    A blue crayon is mistakingly labeled as red, and struggles with issues of identity, self, and fitting in.

    4. A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara

    Triangle Square / Via amazon.com

    A progressive twist on the typical ABC book for kids, teaching them that H stands for "hat" and also "human rights."

    5. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel

    Dial Books / Via amazon.com

    A heartwarming read for all children, based on the real life story of transgender kid Jazz Jennings.

    And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / Via amazon.com

    Roy and Silo are a penguin couple at The Central Park Zoo who so desperately want to be dads that they attempt to hatch an egg-shaped rock. A zoo-keeper notices their nurturing ways and connects them to an egg that needs a family. A sweet reminder that love - and family - comes in all forms.

    6. I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Schwartz & Wade / Via amazon.com

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's most famous speech is somehow made even more moving and inspirational thanks to Kadir Nelson's incredible illustrations. Bonus: a CD of King's speech comes with the book.

    7. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

    Dial Books / Via amazon.com

    Creative, artistic, imaginative Grace learns her class will be putting on a performance of Peter Pan, and she becomes determined to land the lead role. But her classmates scoff at her dream, saying she can't play the part because she's black and a girl. With some help from her Nana, Grace learns she can do whatever she wants despite what her haters say.

    8. The Family Book by Todd Parr

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Via amazon.com

    A simple celebration of all the very different kinds of families in the world, from iconic children's author Todd Parr.

    9. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

    Annick Press / Via amazon.com

    The classic tale of a princess who loses everything, including the prince she is destined to marry. She sets off to rescue him in nothing but a paper bag, and defeats the dragon who destroyed her kingdom and stole her man. But instead of expressing his admiration and appreciation, the prince disses her looks and outfit, and so our heroine kicks him to the curb. All hail the queen.

    10. The Badass Feminist Coloring Book by Ijeoma Oluo

    CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform / Via amazon.com

    Quietly toss that Paw Patrol coloring book in the closet and hand your kids this gorgeous coloring book celebrating intersectional feminism and women who are changing the world.

    11. Free to Be...You and Me by Marlo Thomas

    Running Press Kids / Via amazon.com

    The book that we all grew up on has been updated with new illustrations, but the earnest, heartfelt message of compassion for yourself and others remains the same.

    12. Same, Same But Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

    Henry Holt and Co. / Via amazon.com

    The story of two boys, one in India and one in America. Through their connection as pen pals they learn that while their lives across the globe are vastly different, they're also incredibly similar.

    13. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull

    HMH Books for Young Readers / Via amazon.com

    The story of one of America's most renown civil rights activists, brought to life by Yuyi Morales' vibrant pictures. In learning about Chavez's life, kids discover that their actions, big and small, can make a difference in our world.

    14. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

    Balzer + Bray / Via amazon.com

    The tale of a fearless young girl who changes her community for the better with the simple act of knitting.

    15. It's Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr

    Little, Brown Books for Young Reader / Via amazon.com

    Because feeling weird and strange is the most normal thing a kid can go through.

    16. A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

    Reading Rainbow Books / Via amazon.com

    After losing everything in a fire, a young girl works together with her mom and grandmother, saving coins in a jar to finally purchase a new chair. A tale about money, matriarchy, and the true power of love.

    17. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

    Grosset & Dunlap / Via amazon.com

    This story of a peaceful bull with zero interest in bullfighting was published over 75 years ago, and yet it still delivers. Why? Because it's sweet message of pacifism is truly timeless.

    18. Jacob's New Dress by Sarah Hoffman

    Albert Whitman & Company / Via amazon.com

    Jacob is a gender nonconforming kid who gets teased when he shows up to school in dresses. But with the support of his parents, he makes his own outfits and wears them proudly, no matter what the other kids think.

    19. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

    Puffin Books / Via amazon.com

    You're guaranteed to weep when you read this to your kids. Something about Miss Rumphius's adventurous, generous quest to make the world more beautiful just hits home with every read.

    20. I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Via amazon.com

    As Keyana's mom does her hair before bedtime she thinks of all the different hairstyles she can wear, even though some have resulted in teasing at school. As her imagination takes flight so does her self-confidence and pride, in both her hair and her heritage.