For as long as I can remember he has also had an amazing obsession for cars, diggers, motorbikes and the like. Basically anything that moves. Pre-talking, whenever we’d go for walks in the pram he’d shout ‘daaaaaaaa’ at any vehicle driving past. And as a consequence we possibly have the largest car collection of any two-and-a-half year old I know. Same goes for books. Which look a lot like this:
We always used to say how amazing it was that he was genetically pre-dispositioned to love cars. However, since Lila’s arrival it has got me thinking.
Her collection of books looks like this:
You see what I'm getting at? She’s four months old and already has a pretty impressive array of fairy, flower, princess, and dolly books and various other girly accessories. She even has a handbag (all be it a very cute one).
I think the little girl in the recent You Tube internet sensation, was very right in her toy-store rant. As well as all the pink v blue toys on the market today, why should girls be conditioned to read books filled with fairies and flowers and boys to read books about cars and dinosaurs?
At home we try to make sure we balance out Oliver’s boyish-ness with some more ‘girly' toys. He has a tea set, kitchen things, play food, a pram and two dolls and he loves sitting down to read ‘Lila’s’ books. And luckily, despite the bashing, he can also be very gentle. This boy can throw a mean tea party.
On the writing course I took last year our tutor advised against being overly stereotypical when developing characters for children’s picture books. Apparently these days publishers don’t want girls to be too girly or boys to always be the ones getting dirty and going on adventures.
Perhaps the next generation of children’s picture books will be set to change the pink and blue stereotypes. However, looking at our collection it seems a long way off yet. What do you think?
Do your children have very gender specific books and toys? Do you try and mix it up a little?