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Toddler Boys Need 'Girl' Books, Too

kids literature, childrens books

Boys like reading about lots of stuff, not just trucks and monkeys.

Sometimes, I think modern parenting is too black and white. And by “black and white,” I actually mean pink and blue. Marketers designate a specific gender even for the most universal things. (Diaper makers, I’m talking to you.)

And so it is with kids literature. Where the marketers leave off, it seems well-meaning grandparents pick up. My daughters get books about fairies and girl detectives; my son gets books about trucks. And other trucks.

But just like girls need so-called boy books, boys need girl books, too. Which is why I love John Cave Osborne’s feature on “non-macho” books for little boys. I can’t help but add a few more, which happen to be favorites of my toddler son’s.

Be sure you add your picks in comments.

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  • Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig 1 of 5
    Pete's a Pizza by William Steig
    Pete's bummed that it's raining, so his dad turns him into a pizza. This simple story cultivates creativity, battles loneliness and shows parents are sometimes as fun as friends. Sometimes.
    SOURCE
  • Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick, by Kevin Henkes 2 of 5
    Sheila Rae's Peppermint Stick, by Kevin Henkes
    It's hard to share! And it's hard being a younger sibling. It's fun to have power. And it feels good to have a heart. All this in just a dozen pages.
    SOURCE
  • There’s a Nightmare Under My Bed, by Mercer Mayer 3 of 5
    There's a Nightmare Under My Bed, by Mercer Mayer
    Along with There's a Nightmare in My Closet and There's a Nightmare in My Attic, this book is a revelation that we're not the first to think there's something scary living in the darker recesses of the home. These books reveal two things: the scary things aren't so bad and, also, the only way to get some sleep is to confront your fears head-on.
    SOURCE
  • Arthur’s Baby, by Marc Brown 4 of 5
    Arthur's Baby, by Marc Brown
    The books in the Arthur series can be a bit heady for toddlers, but this one holds the attention of 2-year-olds. Is it because everyone loves a baby? Or because the burp at the end never gets old?
    SOURCE
  • No, David, by David Shannon 5 of 5
    No, David, by David Shannon
    Toddlers have already heard the word "no" a million times by now, so they might as well learn everyone their age is still sorting out right from wrong. David means well when he writes on walls and tips fishbowls. Just because mom puts him in a timeout, doesn't mean she stopped loving him.
    SOURCE

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