Toys for girls and boys

This one isn’t about toys, but my children seem to enjoy books as much, if not more, than any toy, plus it is gender related, for both the parent and the children, so bear with me…

My husband loves to read with our children and they get through many, many books a day. One of the things that gets to me though, is that so many books assume that the mum is the main carer. Even if that is the case, it doesn’t need reinforcing all the time, and it might encourage dads to read more with their children. I’ve not found many, but here are some books for babies and toddlers (although we still like reading some of these with my 5-year-old).


I really like this book Hug by Jez Alborough, and it has hardly any words in, but it does use the word Mummy on the last page, when, from the picture, it could so easily have said Daddy! Or Grandpa! It’s really not nice for dads to read books like that, I imagine.  So my advice would be to just replace the last word ‘Mummy’ by ‘Daddy’, or ‘Grandad’ or someone’s name even. The kids can’t read yet anyway: they are not likely to challenge you on it (plus, it’s all for a good cause).  But it can be done differently…


A book that are not too obviously gender specific for child or parent is this one:  “You and me, Little Bear” (I haven’t read all the books in this series,  so I can only vouch for this one!) Neither the Big Bear or the Little Bear are specifically male or female. Although both are referred to as ‘he’ in the text, so must be male, they are mainly called Big Bear or Little Bear. When I asked my children which gender they thought the bears were, my son said a Baby boy and a Mama bear, and my daughter said a Baby girl and a Daddy bear. So quite open to interpretation anyway. The bears do chores and games that boys and girls, men and women can imagine doing. It is a lovely story to read, and we often quote from it when we are doing something with one child: “you and me, little bear, we’ll do it together.”


Now this one truly is genderfree! “I like it when… by Mary Murphy.” The adult penguin and the child penguin are both not any specific gender. The book takes you through a typical day in the life of a toddler or young child. It’s such a simple idea, but such a heartwarming story, I really really love it, and so do both my children.

I hope to add  more to this list, so if you know of any books that fit the criteria, do let me know!

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Comments on: "Books with genderfree parents/children" (1)

  1. I’m just ranting really but we bought a Lamaze toy and book, Captain Calamari. ALL the gender-specific pronouns are male. And I’ve read more than once that kids will often read ‘gender-neutral’ as ‘male’ in books so it really bothers me. Thanks for this post, want to generate some balance 🙂

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