Books for Parents and Childcare Providers
A more complete listing of books
for parents is available on the Internet.
Dolls and Guns: 101 Ways to Help Children Avoid Gender Bias
Susan Hoy Crawford
The author offers tips and suggestions for parents and teachers about
how to have nonsexist interactions with children. In addition to behavioral
suggestions, the author lists relevant toys, books, and videos for children
about avoiding gender stereotypes.
a Girl: Seven Strategies for Raising a Strong, Spirited Daughter
The author gives parents advice on how to raise daughters and avoid gender
stereotypes that often begin at infancy. The author addresses the importance
of providing girls with positive female role models, encouraging girls
in math and science, and nurturing girls’ competence and self-reliance.
Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
Daniel J. Kindlon and Michael Thompson
These authors address the need for helping boys to develop their emotions.
The authors believe it is important to redefine masculinity to include
acceptance of emotions and self-care. They provide suggestions for parents,
teachers, and society to better understand boys and to teach them to become
more aware and accepting of their emotions.
Books for Children
To Be …You and Me
Marlo Thomas and Carol Hart
This is a collection of stories, poems, pictures, and songs that encourage
children to be whatever they want to be. The author believes that each
family is the right kind of family and does not pass judgment on families
that provide nurturance, love, and support. The stories and songs are
fun for children and families to share together. This book has been a
favorite of families for years!
William wants a doll to love, care for, and nurture. However, his brothers
and father think this is silly, and they try to interest him in basketballs
and train sets. Although William likes these things, he still really wants
a doll. Finally, when his grandmother comes to visit she buys him a doll.
Grandmother explains to William’s father and brothers that William
needs this doll so he can learn how to be a good father some day.
Gander Nursery Rhymes
These fun nursery rhymes are the same Mother Goose nursery rhymes we knew
as children. However, Father Gander has rewritten several verses of the
nursery rhymes so as to remove the violence, racial discrimination, and
One example is:
“Jack, be nimble! Jack, be quick!
Jack, jump over the candlestick!
Jill, be nimble! Jump it, too!
If Jack can do it, so can you.”
This children’s book is about a male bunny that is looking for someone
to love him and to cuddle him. The bunny finally finds a female bunny
that needs his love as much as he needs her love. The two bunnies become
friends who care for one another. The story teaches children that both
boys and girls need love and affection.
This story talks about friends who like each other for many different
reasons. Rosie likes Michael when he’s dopey and when he’s
smart. Michael likes Rosie when she’s grouchy and when she’s
nice. This story teaches children that they can behave in many different
ways and not just in ways that they are “supposed” to act
because they are a boy or a girl.
In this story, a boy and his mother remember the special love and affection
of the boy’s grandfather. The grandfather gave lots of hugs and
kisses, and he used kind words to tell the boy and his mother how much
he loved them. This story teaches children that males can be loving and
Fox Goes to the End of the World
Little Fox dreams of traveling the world. She tells her mother of her
adventure and how she will tame wild animals, hike through large mountains,
and sail across the sea. This story teaches children that girls can be
adventurous and daring. Little Fox is a brave girl who dreams of going
on an active cross-country adventure.
Elliot is a porcupine who is longing for a hug. With his long, sharp quills
he has a hard time finding anyone that will hug him. He tries to hug poles,
lights, and parking meters but these things do not hug him back. Finally
he meets Thelma, a female porcupine, who wants a hug too. The two porcupines
become friends who shar gentle hugs with one another. This story teaches
children that both boys and girls want and need hugs.
and Hush the Baby
Will’s mother is busy painting a picture when Will’s baby
brother starts to cry. Mother asks Will to comfort his brother. Will tries
many creative ways to calm his brother. Baby brother enjoys Will’s
attempts so much that he starts to cry every time Will leaves him. This
story teaches children that boys can be nurturing towards siblings and
can help their parents to care for their brothers and sisters.
Read books you already have
Look at the books in your own library. Complete the following
checklist to see if you have a variety of books that show men and women
in many different roles. The checklist will help you decide if you need
to add more books about boys or girls. Or you could see if you could use
the books to teach children about the variety of things boys and girls
can do. You can also use the checklist to recognize gender stereotypes
and discuss them with children.
1. Who are the most important characters in the story?
Are they male or female? What qualities do these characters
2. Are the characters people you want your children
3. How many pictures show men? How many pictures show
women? How many pictures show girls? How many pictures
4. How many pictures show active girls? How many pictures
show active boys?
5. How many pictures show quiet girls? How many pictures
show quiet boys?
6. Does the story show women in “female roles”?
How? What roles do they play?
7. Does the story show men in “male roles”?
How? What roles do they play?