Hilary Duff Empowers Girls to Be Themselves in New Children's Book

The actor delivers a sweet bedtime read about growing up and being yourself.

An image of Hilary Duff.
Photo: Getty Images.

One night after coming home from filming the hit comedy Younger, a tired and emotional Hilary Duff held her daughter, Banks, now 2, and remembered how her own mother had encouraged her to be brave. "As Banks was nursing, I realized that our breastfeeding journey was coming to an end and this was just one of the many ways I was going to watch her grow into a little brave girl," says Duff, who is expecting her third child. That night inspired the Lizzie McGuire star to write the poetic picture book My Little Brave Girl, tender affirmations that our daughters' futures are limitless. The nostalgic illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley portray friends exploring nature together (happily, various races and ethnicities are represented). Parents caught up with Duff late last year as she was filming the final season of her TV Land series, Younger.

What do you hope that children and parents come away with after reading the story?

"My wish for this book is that it encourages young minds to always lean forward with pride and bravery. And for this book to be part of those many moments of tender cuddles that seem so fleeting."

Dream Animals cover and three Poke-A-Dot Book covers
Courtesy of Random House Books for Young Readers and Melissa & Doug Llc

Do your kids negotiate for more books at bedtime?

"They know how to work me so well! I read a minimum of four books, and then we sing four or five songs after that. My 8-year-old son, Luca, is a lot better at reading on his own now, but every once in a while he still wants a solid bedtime routine. Goodnight Moon has been a favorite of both my kids. Luca loves The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt. Banks loves Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey, by Emily Winfield Martin, and her newest favorites are Melissa & Doug's Poke-a-Dot! board-book series. Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi, is a big hit in the family as well."

What books from your own childhood left the biggest impression on you?

"Growing up, I also loved Goodnight Moon, Corduroy, and all of the Shel Silverstein books."

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's March 2021 issue as "Hilary Duff Empowers Girls." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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