It has been a very long time since my last post, for which I apologise, but I thought it was time I recommended some children’s books I’ve discovered that are not sexist in the way I was complaining about. I’ve not found as many as I would have hoped, but here are a few you should definitely check out:
The Baby That Roared by Simon Puttock
I love Simon Puttock. There are a couple by him on this list, and I imagine there could be more, but I haven’t come across any others yet. And he’s a man, writing well about female characters, which fills me with hope. The Baby That Roared is a lovely tale along the lines of a childless couple, wishing for a baby and then getting more than they bargained for when their wish comes true. What is great about this is that it is both Mr and Mrs Deer who take an interest in childcare and the characters they go to for advice are both male and female. Apart from all that, it’s a very enjoyable read, both charming and funny.
Stella to Earth by Simon Puttock
Another favourite in our house. In this story a girl takes an interest in space travel and explores new galaxies and planets, and it is her father who is looking after her at home. Brilliant.
How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens
Basically a modern take on The Tiger Who Came to Tea (which gets a mention in this story). The central character, Iris, isn’t scared of lions. Also, both her mum and dad are seen looking after the baby, and both her mum and dad read the newspaper. Now, that’s more like the world I know. Oh, and the illustrations are fabulous.
Usborne Farmyard Tales (series) by Heather Amery and Stephen Cartwright
The publisher, Usborne, has put out loads of these in various formats and some are much better than others, but – and I can’t quite describe how excited I was when I first read this – Mrs Boot is the farmer! The stories are all about the Boot family, and Mr Boot appears from time to time, too, and the son and daughter are always around, but Mrs Boot is clearly described as one who is the farmer. Okay, she’s also ‘Mrs Boot’ and is therefore only identified by her married status and her husband’s name, but it’s a start.
And that’s the lot for now. I will update as and when I find more, and please do let me know if you have anything that could be added to this list. In the meantime, my search goes on…