June 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

You’ve Come a Long Way, “Feminist Baby”!

What inspired you to write Feminist Baby (Disney-Hyperion)?
Feminist Baby felt like it had been a long time coming. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been trying think of a children’s story I could tell that would positively impact the world. When I was looking for a baby book to buy for a friend’s shower and couldn’t find anything related to feminism, the idea hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to write a book that I would want to give to my friends’ babies and to my own possible future babies.

Did you ever think that the Feminist Baby webcomic would become as popular as it did?
I made the comics during the slow (agonizing) process of waiting for the [board] book to come out. I missed drawing her, and I also felt as though there was another, more radical side to her that I wanted to express in a different, more “adult” format. I didn’t realize how popular they would be, but I was happy they were!

1704-POP-feminist-babyDid the narrative come to you first or the illustrations?
The idea of who she is, how she looks, and that she’s called “Feminist Baby” came all at once. But for the book, I wrote the text first and then illustrated accordingly.

I read this to my five-month-old daughter, and she absolutely loved the bright colors. What made you gravitate toward this palette?
Aw, that makes me so happy to hear! Honestly, for this project, I would look at the page when it was finished and ask myself, “Could these colors pass as a candy-coated treat?” If so, I’d be happy with it, and if not, I’d readjust. I love the idea of a book looking delicious, and to me, candy-coated chocolates look delicious.

Will there be more adventures for Feminist Baby in the future?
Yes! I already have her whole life planned out in my mind. Whether it gets [traditionally] published or it’s just me handing out pamphlets in the park about her is yet to be determined, but hopefully, it will be published!

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.