As a father of a toddler with concerns about not getting my son wrapped up in traditional gender role stereotypes, I’m attracted to books that provide a positive or balanced gender view. Even in his baby books, gender messages can appear in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.
I was particularly happy to find Little Scholastic’s Welcome Season books (Welcome Summer is also available). There are four books in this touch-and-feel series, one for each season. Each book discusses a different season, and each ends with the same basic spread, a variation of “It’s spring! And you’re safe and dry in Mommy’s arms.”
Little Scholastic took advantage of there being four books in the series to use all four combinations: Mommy with a girl, Mommy with a boy, Daddy with a girl, and Daddy with a boy. Two of the books also feature minority children, making the books more accessible to non-white babies.
Now that the kidlet is one year old, he’s really getting into being able to turn pages and touch the interesting textures. These books are among his favorites, and I enjoy being able to provide him with the diversity contained in them.
Two of his other favorite books, incidentally, are German-language bedtime board books (Schlaf gut, Jakob and Wenn kleine Tiere müde sind) that end with both Mom and Dad being positively involved in the bedtime ritual.