Books play an important role in shaping a child’s outlook on life. Books can be used to encourage discussions and challenge gender stereotypes. Stereotypes can be harmful as they can impact on the way children think and feel about themselves, and how they interact with others.
Here at Level Playground we absolutely love using books to support discussions with children. Books can be used to break down gender stereotypes, to broach difficult topics, to start or support conversations. Reading and storytelling are crucial for language skills, literacy and brain development. And reading books together is a beautiful way of building connections with children.
In this section you will find booklists, book features, useful links and tips and ideas about creating comfortable and supportive reading spaces for children.
Don’t forget to follow our Instagram, where we frequently showcase new and wonderful books that come our way!
- Educate2Empower Book collection: Browse the Educate2Empower full collection of children’s books and resources for body safety, consent, gender equality, respectful relationships and social & emotional intelligence.
- Global Equality Collective: An incredible collection of books that don’t just break down stereotypes, they smash them to pieces! Books are organised into themes based on which specific stereotype they smash and we absolutely love it.
- City of Monash and Generating Equality and Respect Library Booklist: This booklist aims to provide parents, early childhood educators and carers with a range of stories which provide broader ideas about who girls, boys, women, men and people who identify as diverse genders can be, what they can be interested in and achieve. It is important to challenge gender stereotypes to ensure children’s goals are not limited by traditional ideas about what girls and boys and women and men can do.
- Welcoming Schools Books Looking at Gender: This booklist has a range of books that encourage children to be who they are and break down gender stereotypes.
- A Mighty Girl Website: This is the world’s largest collection of books, toys, movies, and music for parents, teachers, and others dedicated to raising smart, confident, and courageous girls. The site was founded on the belief that all children should have the opportunity to read books, play with toys, listen to music, and watch movies that offer positive messages about girls and honour their diverse capabilities.
- Letterbox Library: Letterbox Library was created over 30 years ago by two like-minded, single mums who were concerned about the children’s books available to their daughters. Very few reflected their family lives and just as few showed girls in exciting, active roles. The website has lots of ideas on books and resources that celebrate gender equality and diversity.
- Some Kids by Nelly Thomas: Early Childhood Books challenging gender roles, by Melbourne comedian Nelly Thomas. The first book in the series called ‘Some Girls’ and was launched late 2017. It is a beautiful and funny book that inspires all girls to be free of stereotypes and encourages other kids – and adults – to allow them to be. ‘Some Boys’ will be launching in September 2018.
- Beyond Sparkles and Superheroes: This booklist was put together by Maroondah City Council, Knox City Council, Yarra Ranges Council, Women’s Health East and EACH. The books on the list present child characters in a way that challenges gender stereotypes and celebrates children’s individuality.
- Stories Beyond Stereotypes Booklist: This booklist and collection was developed to highlight children’s books for 7-12 year olds that go beyond gender stereotypes and promote healthy, equal, respectful and positive relationships. It was developed by Eastern Regional Libraries, EDVOS, Level Playground, Knox City Council, Maroondah City Council, Yarra Ranges Council, Women’s Health East, Inspiro and EACH.
- Carrington Health Gender Equity Booklist: Children’s booklist that showcases a range of books that promote gender diversity and challenge rigid gender stereotypes.
- A Mighty Girl Website: Books for parents, carers and educators about gender, parenting and challenging stereotypes.
- Common Sense Media: Empowering the next generation of digital citizens and supporting families to navigate the challenges and possibilities of raising kids in the digital age. The leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools, Common Sense Media rates and reviews nearly everything kids want to watch, read, play and learn, to help families and educators make smart media choices.
- Kids Book Checklist Poster: This checklist from Educate2Empower helps you to consider the stereotypes in the books your children are reading. Display it at home or in your classroom.
- Boys and Girls by Hayley Apelt: This picture book promotes equality by teaching children that they should always do whatever brings them enjoyment and happiness – regardless of their gender. On the website you will find lots of free resources that you can use in the classroom.
- Free to Be Me Book Review Tool: Developed by Access Health, this children’s book online tool will help you to select books that embrace diversity and challenge gender stereotypes.
- The Children’s Book Council of Australia: The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) is a not for profit, volunteer run organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature. Each year, across Australia, the CBCA brings children and books together celebrating Children’s Book Week. Throughout the year, the CBCA works in partnership with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and other organisations in the children’s book world to bring words, images and stories into the hearts and minds of children and adults.
- BookTrust UK: BookTrust transforms lives by getting children and families reading. BookTrust is the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. Each year they reach 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to help develop a love of reading, because they know that reading can transform lives. Although in Australia we cannot access their program, we can still utilise their website as it has some resources on how to engage your child when it comes to reading. Make sure you check out their BookFinder tool.
- National Library Australia: Use this website to find the nearest library near you.
- After Happily Ever After: The Australian Childhood Foundation developed this activity to give children and young people a chance to change the ways that fairy tales work and create purpose in a different sort of way.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Contact Level playground today to find out how!