Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Construction of Gender in Children's Literature

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9780325002842: Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Construction of Gender in Children's Literature

Children select role models from their friends, movies, television, and books. As teachers, librarians, and parents, we can provide alternative roles that present well-rounded male and female characters who have choices and options. How we can do this through the many genres in children's literature is the subject of this fine collection of essays.

Beauty, Brains, and Brawn offers diverse perspectives on what it means to be a male or female child in children's literature, presenting stimulating views from the field's best-known authors, illustrators, and educators. The award-winning authors and illustrators talk about their motivation for creating the boys and girls in their books and they examine the child as audience. Essays from educators explore larger issues related to current research on gender and the classroom, multiethnic experiences and gender, and gender portrayals in contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and picture books.

Topics include parental roles in books for children, the kinds of books available for very young children and the gender issues housed within them, diversity and gender, the politics of gender and gender stereotypes in children's literature, finding authentic female and male voices in historical fiction, and the clash of conservative and liberal values in children's literature. Popular images in the media are also considered.

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About the Author:

A professor of reading and children's literature at Skidmore College, Susan Lehr earned her Ph.D. in reading and children's literature at The Ohio State University in 1985. Her reader-response research with young children has been described extensively in her two books, Battling Dragons: Issues and Controversy in Children's Literature (Heinemann, 1995) and The Child's Developing Sense of Theme.

Review:

“The questions raised by this title are vital, and they will provoke much-needed discussion.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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