Awesome children’s books

After reading this AP story on gender-biased children’s stories, and after hearing a compelling feminist reading of the Berenstein Bears books at the Southwestern Popular Culture Association conference a few months ago, I’ve redoubled my efforts to find rocking children’s books. (I’ve already posted about how, in our house Ming Lo’s wife has a name, not just “Ming Lo’s wife” and dads appear in stories that are only written about child and mum.)

One new title in our library, after hearing friends’ laments about princess bullshit and distress over the Barbie dilemma, is The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. The short version? Princess rescues the prince, and when he criticizes the paper bag she had to wear to get there, she heads into the sunset without him.

Between thid princess and finishing Flux, which reminded me that, though Spouse and I negotiated roles before  getting married and before having Peanut, we need to revisit the discussion to readjust the “default” setting of mom doing everything related to anything. So I’m going to hand off all the domestic duties to Spouse (haven’t told him that yet) because I’m trying to raise a feminist, and that can only happen if I do more of my freelance work and less housekeeping. (You may TOTALLY borrow that justification for yourself. It’s genuinely why I’m slacking on housework [starting now; before this I was trying desperately to do a decent job because of social expectations] but intentional transition of work avoids being shirking and will teach the whole family a lesson *only* if Spouse actually picks up the slack.  Otherwise we just become a penicillin experminent gone awry. I’ll keep you posted.)

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4 thoughts on “Awesome children’s books

  1. I am so going to the bookstore this week to buy that book. The princess/Barbie thing makes me vomit.

    Please keep us posted on the housework experiment. If you can pull this off, I will worship you forever.

  2. I think I need to revisit our library and see what we’ve been reading our boys. Most of them our aninal books, but we need to get some gender friendly books. And if that works out, let me know. But I fear I would need something stronger to get my husband to help out. Not do to sexism, just he’s a natural slob and I like to be able to find things.

  3. Love the Paper Bag Princess. I’ve actually had the book longer than I’ve had kids. Hmm… Good luck with the housework thing. It’s an ongoing struggle around here. Ugh.

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