Tag » children's books
Having a new baby cousin in my family has re-introduced to me the intense and disturbing gender-stereotyping of children from infancy onward. Toys, books, and clothing are becoming seemingly more and more gendered as I grow older - toys that were previously gender neutral are not becoming gender specific (i.e Lego and Duplo), split into a comfortable and often unchallenged gendered binary that has girls playing house and boys playing heroes.  When buying for ... Read More
  You know Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, but how about Let’s Be Enemies? The charming title is a work by author Janice May Udry, and its 1961 publication marked the beginnings of illustrator Maurice Sendak’s growth into the legendary artist we know him as today.    On the pages of this delightfully angst-ridden text, we might find Sendak’s vision of James and John, two boys who have had an unfortunate falling ... Read More
  “Boys are Presidents. Girls are First Ladies,” explains I’m Glad I’m a Boy! I’m Glad I’m a Girl!, a children’s book published amidst the cultural revolution that was second wave feminism. The book, written and illustrated by Whitney Darrow, Jr., appears of course to preach archaic rules of male and female occupation and behavior: in the home, the man creates and the woman nurtures, and at work, the woman serves ... Read More
It appears my favorite sassiest and most "illustrated" resident of the Plaza Hotel is finally getting her own documentary, and at the helm is none other than Girls star Lena Dunham. The Vogue cover girl recently revealed that she will be working alongside Girls co-writer and executive producer Jenni Konner on a documentary about Eloise  illustrator Hilary Knight. An american illustrator, Knight became a household name in the literary world when he began ... Read More
  Sylvia Plath’s body of work seems to span mediums and generations, tapping into our most profound pathoses and dreams. Be she blonde or brunette, poet or artist, each of her creations is tinged with the same gentle yet daring girlishness. Rest your head, if you will, on a Plath masterpiece entitled The Bed Book, a book of poetry she authored for her very own children. In this imagination-nourishing anthology, the poet unveils the mysterious and ... Read More
  My grandmother was an artist, and throughout her career, she’d make abstract sculptures and embroidery that I’d stare at for hours as a child: “oh, that looks like a face, and that there? That’s an animal.” Our play was art-making, and I was always amazed at how different her aesthetic would become when she was with me. Her paper dolls weren’t abstract at all; I’d make an abstract shape, and she’d magically ... Read More
  In 1919, E.E. Cummings impregnated his lover, the separated wife of his beloved friend Scofield Thayer, Elaine. Unfortunately, Cummings left Elaine and the child alone and abandoned, and Thayer took on the role of the girl’s father until he and Elaine officially divorced one year later.     But this story isn’t a tragic one; it’s a poignant one about doing the best we can for those we love. After that year apart, Cummings ... Read More
  In 1865, Mark Twain wrote a picture book entitled “Advice To Little Girls.” The book is delightfully illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky, who whimsically juxtaposes doodles that you might expect in a child’s diary with rich watercolor-esque renderings of the human form. Infused with this sketchbook-inspired world, are powerful and progressive life lessons for girls.     Twain’s text suggests that although children ... Read More
It was almost 75 years ago that Madeline first uttered her famous “pooh-pooh” to the tiger in the Paris zoo. I want to know her secret, because that girl doesn’t look a day over six and a half. As it turns out, Madeline’s appeal is as ageless as she is. Young ladies and gents continue to delight in Madeline’s adventures, even though she doesn’t communicate solely with Emojis or tweet @MissClavel. Rather, her appeal lies in her ... Read More
We all know and love Dr. Seuss’s brilliant children’s books, texts, and artworks that taught us that love and compassion for every living soul can be magical; after all, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” His work has helped countless children navigate the confusion and excitement of growing up, made our futures seem full of endless fantasy: “Kid, you’ll move mountains!”  But guess what? He also wrote a ... Read More
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