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Books about boys

(49 Posts)
isthistoonosy Tue 11-Apr-17 09:08:29

DS has just started noticing the diff genders and even though we are lucky that he sees men and women in diff roles - nursery teacher and nurse are men, local farmer and truck drivers that are women this mix isn't reflected in his colouring books and stories very well.
I've found books and TV shows showing brave, smart, strong girls which I will of course also direct him a bit more towards. But wondered can anyone suggest books showing boys and men doing typical girl roles and/or behaviours.

Thanks for any suggestions

VestalVirgin Tue 11-Apr-17 11:32:08

Good question.

I can' t think of any books that'd be appropriate for that age group and have progressive male role models.

Eva Ibbotson's book about three aunts who live on a magic island might qualify by virtue of the aunts having a male cook (who's the only employee), but that's for about ten or eleven year olds.

I know some nice fantasy books that completely do away with patriarchy, with all that implies, but they are more for teenagers or older.

ChocChocPorridge Tue 11-Apr-17 11:38:35

You don't say how old your son is - and I'm wracking my brains, but the only one that comes close that I've thought of yet is one my kids loved when 2/3/4 which is just a short one about poppa bombola looking for his daughter around the farm (he's wearing her on his back the whole time)

This is the one

CaptainWarbeck Tue 11-Apr-17 12:10:26

Everywhere Babies is a good book for this but might be a bit young for your son. It has pictures of dads feeding babies, rocking them to sleep, carrying them in backpacks and frontpacks, and mums and grandparents doing all this too. Also a variety of different ethnicities of babies feature, not just white.

pigsknickers Tue 11-Apr-17 16:08:21

My 2.5 year old DS loves the Katie morag books, although some of the story lines are a bit old for him still - Katie Morag is a very three-dimensional, bolshy character and she has an awesome Grannie who drives a tractor and generally doesn't take any shit smile. I've also struggled with this though so will be watching this thread for more suggestions.

pigsknickers Tue 11-Apr-17 16:11:55

Oh sorry, just read properly (sleep deprived) and realised you're looking for male role models. We have a book by Bob graham called Queenie the Bantam which has a dad who knits and carries his daughter on his back although that's just in the illustrations, not the story.

TheCrowFromBelow Tue 11-Apr-17 16:29:05

Yes, Bob Graham is good - We had one about adopting a dog.
Can't remember the name of the book but it was lovely. Great pictures.

nightshifting Tue 11-Apr-17 23:58:05

I have a daughter, so most of what I look for is the strong female role model type books, but I can think of two that present boys in something other than a macho-tough role. The first is Richard Scarry's "The Bunny Book." It's about a little baby boy bunny, and his family all speculate on what he'll be when he grows up, coming up with all these stereotypical male careers like firefighters and pilots and lion tamers. In the end it's revealed that the baby bunny really wants to grow up to be a daddy rabbit, and he's shown feeding and playing with his children and tucking them into bed; sort of the stereotypical "nurturing" things that mothers are typically "supposed" to do. It's really sweet with cute illustrations. The second is Munro Leaf's "The Story of Ferdinand," an old classic about a bull who doesn't want to butt heads and fight in the bull fights like all the other bulls, but is completely happy just sitting quietly and smelling the flowers. They're not quite "boys in typical girl roles" books but they don't push the "active manly-man" line and show male characters doing stuff we associate with female characters in a positive light. They're good for toddler to young school age children, maybe about 2-7.

Honestly I wish there were more books showing boys doing typically "girly" things and that this is just fine.

SerfnTerf Wed 12-Apr-17 07:07:54

There's an old Shirley Hughes one called "Helpers" which is about a long haired teenage boy who spends the day babysitting for some children while their mum is at work.

drspouse Wed 12-Apr-17 15:50:48

I started a Pinterest board around this issue (I have one of each). It also tends towards strong girls, and I also have Ferdinand and just added the Bunny Book.
Some of the suggestions by Pinterest might be worth checking out, but many are transgender (sigh) or about gay parents (nice but straight dads can be caring too).

Please do join the board if you like

isthistoonosy Wed 12-Apr-17 21:51:13

Thanks for the suggestions, I've read Ferdinand (not sure when or why) but had forgotten all about it so will get a copy for the kids. Thinking about it more it is also a lack of background characters that are men, the cashier in a shop, the grandparent, the old person you should help/rescue etc.

I've one of each, DD is 2 and DS is 3, I'm avoiding trans stuff as I quite frankly think its a crock of shit. And they already know people who are homosexual, so whilst I don't object to gays being in stories per se I don't feel its something I need to especially introduce them to.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 12-Apr-17 22:45:41

Honestly I wish there were more books showing boys doing typically "girly" things and that this is just fine

I haven't read it but David Walliams The Boy in a Dress ?

As far as I am aware it is about a boy in a dress , not some one identifying as a girl.

TytoAlba Thu 13-Apr-17 02:11:30

Congratulations to your DS who sees that women and men are different and not the homogeneous identity free blob that the PC brigade says we all are.

scalliondays Thu 13-Apr-17 11:45:52

Tyto - are you saying that men shouldn't take on caring roles such as nursery staff or that men and women should have equal choice in job choice and gender is a bit of a rubbish concept?

isthistoonosy Thu 13-Apr-17 21:21:02

How about kids shows etc. We are stuck on Peppa (every time mum is out of 'shot' she is at work of course grin) and Dora (although that's more for language) atm but I guess at least the boy needs to move on soon so what's next for 4 ish yr olds, that's is OK from a feminist view point?

drspouse Thu 13-Apr-17 22:00:22

The new Bob the Builder has Wendy and Bob as equal partners. She's very token though, but it's better than the 1990s? one where she was just in the office!
Hey Duggee has a male caring dog.
Most of the other cartoon shows are so token it's not true.

isthistoonosy Thu 13-Apr-17 22:07:58

I work in construction, im not mad about bob or new wendy.
Is that really as good as it gets?

drspouse Thu 13-Apr-17 22:19:51

Well most of the others have 90% male characters too. Even non-princess female characters are fairly girly e.g. Melody, though DS likes that one. Tinga Tinga has a fairly even balance of make/female/strong/annoying animals. Sarah and Duck is randomly mad rather than girly. Live action ones are generally better.

1000piecepuzzle Thu 13-Apr-17 22:20:29

There's a book called the big brother by Stephanie dagg, it's an early reader so not a picture book although it is short with black and white illustrations. Plot summary boy wants doll to practice caring for baby sibling. It's nice, DD aged 3 enjoyed listening to older brother reading it.

1000piecepuzzle Thu 13-Apr-17 22:25:25

Piggy book by Anthony Browne is quite a pointed story about challenging wife work, I often read that when I'm feeling taken for granted by everyone! Husband and boys learn their lesson and start pitching in with household chores.

user1492155021 Fri 14-Apr-17 09:15:21

Your son will suffer in school if he thinks its ok for boys to play with dolls etc. Don't make your son suffer for your ideology. He didn't choose to be a martyr for feminism.

drspouse Fri 14-Apr-17 14:34:48

Go away user. OP's son is a toddler but my school aged DS thinks it's OK for boys to play with dolls and nobody has batted an eyelid. If anyone teased him they'd be on them like a ton of (gentle) bricks, based on their responses to similar Neolithic attitudes.

Or are you afraid that toddler boys might grow up to be, you know, fathers?

isthistoonosy Fri 14-Apr-17 17:31:39

He isnt teased for playing with dolls. He mostly plays families or cooking and is almost 4. None of the kids (3-6yrs) could give a shit what he does. They see their own dads being involved dads so why would they question it?

He also plays cars, chain sawing, hunting, cycling, building, shoveling snow/sand etc etc as like every child he has mixed interests.

It must be a sad little corner of the world you live in user.

FlaviaAlbia Fri 14-Apr-17 20:32:57

There's a Bernstein bears book called He Bear She Bear that might be suitable. It's still in print in America but out of print in the UK I think but it's available second hand. It's done in rhyme and basically goes through loads of jobs and says you can do them no matter if you're he or she.

DS is 3 and loves it.

Zone2mum Fri 14-Apr-17 22:46:52

How about Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban which shows bous and girls can play the same games happily together, and that boys stuff and girls stuff is just rubbish because dofferent children like different things, irrespective of their sex.

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