Feminist Baby (Loryn Brantz)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz, a simple and fun board book that celebrates a delightfully rambunctious baby who is simply not interested in conforming to gender roles or stereotypes.

Told in simple rhyming couplets, readers are introduced to Feminist Baby, a smart, fierce, and self-possessed infant. Feminist Baby likes pink AND blue, she likes to play with dolls and cars, and she wears whatever she likes and feels comfortable in, regardless of others’ opinions. She is unashamedly smart, joyfully cacophonous, and okay, yes, WILL occasionally throw up on you (she is a baby, after all). Most importantly, Feminist Baby can and will be whoever and whatever she wants to be, and has the freedom and the right to chase all her dreams.

What a great little board book! Fans of Brantz’s will recognize Feminist Baby as a popular character from her hilarious webcomics, and she translates the unapologetically “woke” infant into kidlit-format extremely well. The illustrations are colorful, fun, and filled with energy, and the length is perfect for even the littlest bookworms. Best of all, the message is a universal one that little girls and boys all deserve to learn at the earliest stages: you should be free to be who you are, regardless of both your gender and the expectations that people place upon you because of it. JJ and I both loved it; it’s a wonderful book for all little readers, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Worm Loves Worm (J.J. Austrian)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Worm Loves Worm, written by J.J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato. This is an unbelievably charming book about two little worms and the love they share.

Worm loves Worm, and vice versa, so they decide to be married. Their insect friends help them organize their wedding, volunteering to be “bridesbees” and a “best beetle,” providing a cake and tuxedo and wedding dress. Worm and Worm are grateful, and make adjustments where necessary (for instance, worms cannot wear wedding rings on their fingers – they don’t have fingers – so they decide to wear them as belts instead). When their friends ask which will be the bride and which will be the groom, Worm and Worm decide to be both. And though their friend Cricket expresses concern that this is not the way weddings have always been done, the worms don’t mind. They would rather do things their own way. After all, all that matters is that Worm loves Worm.

This. Book. I cannot describe how lovely it is. First, the illustrations are just adorable – the little insects, and especially the worms, are too cute for words. It’s a perfect length for baby bookworms, short enough even that JJ wanted to read it twice. The text is sweet and simple and fun to read.

However, the shining center of this book is the story. As the general public is becoming more and more savvy about LGBTQ issues, there have been some wonderful books coming out that explore and explain these concepts to young readers (I Am Jazz is a great one for trans people, for example). This is fantastic, especially because no one is more forced into traditional gender roles than children. However, complex concepts regarding sexuality and gender can be confusing for adults, much less little ones. And THAT is precisely what makes Worm Loves Worm so special. It is a simple book that explains a simple concept: Love is love. We adored this book. Absolutely Baby BookWORM approved!