Saturday, December 6, 2014

Children's Classic UK Ladybird Publishing Drops Gender Branding

Children's publisher Ladybird BG will be dropping gender branding from its books after almost 100 years and will not publish anymore books labelled for girls or boys.  It does not want to be seen "limiting children" in any way.
Ladybird Books will now make gender-neutral children booksIts current gendered titles include Favourite Fairy Tales for Girls, which has the tales of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, and Favourite Stories for Boys, which has the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk and the Three Little Pigs.
It is the seventh publisher to commit to the Let Books Be Books campaign which is urging 'boys' and 'girls' labels to be removed to enable youngsters to choose freely what kinds of stories and activity books interest them.
Ladybird, which is part of the Penguin Random House Children’s division, said it had been in discussions with campaigners as part of its decision.
The campaign group, which believes gender titling is "limiting and restrictive", has gathered thousands of signatures on a petition to challenge publishers to remove their labelling.
It says that titles like "The Beautiful Girls' Book of Colouring" or "Illustrated Classics for Boys" sends the message that certain books are off-limits for girls or for boys, and promote limiting gender stereotypes.
Children’s publishing should always aim to open up new worlds for children. But telling children which stories and activities are 'for them' based on their gender closes down whole worlds of interest.
In March publisher Parragon confirmed it would support the campaign.
In response to the petition, it posted on Twitter: "Feedback on gender-specific titles is important to us. We have no plans to create new titles referring to boy/girl in the UK."
It has received support from publishers Miles Kelly, Chad Valley, Usborne, Waterstones and Dorling Kindersley.
The former UK children's laureate Anne Fine has described gender labelling as "exasperating."

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