A friend shared a video with me the other day which was quite disturbing.
It was a video made by the creators of “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” entitled “the Ugly Truth of Children’s books” in which they took a shelf of children’s books and removed all but those with a strong female lead (who wasn’t a princess waiting around for her prince charming).
Of a whole bookshelf, only a handful remained.
As a woman writing children’s stories full of adventurous outgoing heroes of varying race and gender – to realize that the voice of the female heroine is so small… well it makes me vomit in my mouth for the future generation.
This was followed by a clap of clarity – I’m not entirely innocent of it either! To (sort of) quote one of my favourite podcasts – I’m a feminist but all of the girl characters in our first book wear dresses. Ok they are kind of random stylized dresses, but there are obvious skirt overtones.
Ironic really, considering I refused with great dramatic effect to ever wear a dress as a child. (Apart from that time as a flower girl). We may have grown up with this clear gender skew in our children’s stories, but we get to change that for our kids – by being mindful of balance.
That’s the beauty about personalization. This video highlighted for me why we love creating personalised kids books. We get to make each child the hero. Not sort-of-like the hero or where they could maybe imagine themselves as the hero… but, ACTUALLY the hero.
To add to that, the stories we create aren’t for princesses waiting about for prince charming (or about princes waiting for princesses, or princes waiting for princes, or, indeed anyone waiting for anyone), they’re about adventure. About learning. About kindness or love. About discovering your true self and that, no matter who you are or where you’re from, you are truly incredible and capable of incredible things. (That last one an indirect quote from My Incredible Name Fits, coming soon).
We get to make personalized childrens books that have substance and resonance for each child – where they get to be the good kind of hero, and we get to lay the foundations to build a good kind of generation. (Albeit, a couple of them, in a dress).
Facebook links for backlinks: (when we share on facebook!)