Open Very Carefully: even quality books can contain stereotypes

Open Very Carefully

One of the most popular books in my Pre-K class this past year was Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite written by Nick Bromley and illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne. The book starts off like it will be a retelling of The Ugly Duckling, but soon a crocodile interloper enters the book. For the rest […]

It’s always men’s night at the Caldecott

gender slide

This is a perennially thorny subject, one that’s been aired before. But. Seeing the gender disparity amongst Caldecott winners this starkly expressed is kind of hard to ignore. Do we want to take this on again? Has anything changed since Roger’s 2007 blog post? Thom Barthelmess, past president of ALSC and currently curator of the […]

Reading Along the Gender Continuum

10,000 Dresses

Having grown up in the Free to Be generation, I’ve tried as a parent to steer clear of limiting gender norms in raising, and reading to, 
my son. We’ve read about boys and girls of all types, and (just as 
Hilary Rappaport describes in her May/June 2012 Horn Book article “On the Rights of Reading […]

>Okay, everybody, outta bed!

>Let’s see if these boys can Make It Work

>Color My World

>Via Andrew Sullivan, an exhibition of photographs of children by Jeongmee Yoon displaying their obsessions with gendered colors. I see pink-bedecked and -accessorized little girls all the time but are there enough boys who feel similarly about blue to make the comparison meaningful? When I was a lad, the only rule was not-pink.

>Ladies-in-Waiting

>Does J. K. Rowling get less respect than Philip Pullman because she’s a she?

>Why Can’t a Woman?

>On Saturday March 1st at 1:00PM, I’ll be at the Eric Carle Museum, moderating a panel discussion inspired by our earlier conversation about why women don’t win the Caldecott Medal as often as they might. The panelists for “Read Roger Live” will include illustrator Jane Dyer, children’s-books sexpert Robie Harris, Viking publisher Regina Hayes, and […]

>When Jane got a train

>In one of the group homes I lived in after college (not like it sounds, but too haphazard to be a commune) one of my housemates had placed in the bathroom an oversized children’s paperback book called What Is a Girl? What Is a Boy?, affixing to it a note that said something like “this […]

>What are the odds?

>The New York Times Ten Best Illustrated Books have been announced; as commenter Ruth notes on a previous post, the gender score is eight to two. Elsewhere in the Times‘s special section on children’s books I review Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Spell Book of Listen Taylor (Levine/Scholastic). I note with only fortuitous smugness that the last […]

The other g-word

I’m just writing up a notice for Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art (Philomel), which isn’t really for kids but is an extremely handsome exhibition-in-pages of some great illustrators, including for each a gorgeously reproduced self-portrait as well as photos of their workspaces and preliminary studies and sketches. With […]