Following an online campaign against labelling and marketing books for a specific gender, Buster Books, an imprint of Michael O’Mara Books, has promised to stop selling them.
The campaign was launched in 2014 by a group called ‘Let Toys Be Toys’ and received 8000 signatures, targeting specific publishers such as Usborne and Igloo as well as Buster Books.
The group said that gender stereotyping was limiting and could even cause bullying. “How can a story or a colouring page be only for a girl or only for a boy? A good book should be open to anyone, and children should feel free to choose books that interest them,” said the campaign group. “It’s time to let books be books.”
Usborne were the first to drop the gender labels in March 2014 and they were followed by Dorling Kindersley, Parragon, Chad Valley and Ladybird Books.
Some Buster titles that already include gender branding include ‘The Girls’ Doodle Book’ by Andrew Pinder, ‘The Girls’ Book of Glamour: A Guide to Being a Goddess’ by Sally Jeffrie and ‘The Boys’ Book of Spycraft’ by Martin Oliver, but they haven’t said whether they will continue to publish their gendered backlist.
What do you think about gender labelling on books? Discuss with us @maximumpopbooks!
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