I can’t stop smiling at the new board book, Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz. Filled with adorable, colorful illustrations of a chunky little wide-eyed baby, it paints a picture of a baby who chooses what to wear herself, rejects pants, plays with both dolls and cars, and makes lots of noise — banging on pots and pans with kitchen utensils.
Of course the irony is that these are descriptions that apply to pretty much all babies.
Especially the part about hating to wear pants.
I would definitely call this Feminist-Lite™, especially compared with outstanding titles out there for young kids like like A is for Activist, Rad American Women A to Z, and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. Feminist Baby is not exactly staging sit-ins at the capitol for healthcare access, or refusing to breastfeed in public without a blanket over her head.
But then, not every board book we own has to be a serious lesson in socio-politics. I’m all for diversity on my kids’ bookshelf.
Speaking of diversity, my first impression was that Feminist Baby was white. On closer look, I’d describe her skin as more of a racially ambiguous pale coffee color. Which is good, because we need more girls of all colors to work hard so they can become “whatever she dreams” — which is the perfect statement Brantz chose to end the book, complete with Feminist Baby striking a Rosie the Riveter pose.