Friday, December 04, 2009

Are feminist books for children a good idea and if so, are there any you would recommend?

Viv Groskop in the Guardian poses this provocative question today. What do you think?

She read Pippi Longstocking, Princess Smartipants, Girls Are Not Chicks and Pirate Girl to her children, a boy and a girl, with the result that Pippi Longstocking and Pirate Girl were to be reread.

In my childhood, The Secret Garden played a similar role. There is a feisty girl character in the book alongside sickly boys and strong boys. But I also read Enid Blyton whom many regard as racist and sexist and just plain snobbish. Now I like her rather more than I did before since I read recently that the BBC refused to broadcast any of her stories on the grounds that she was "second-rate."

2 comments:

Eni said...

Talking of Enid Blyton, I am glad to inform you that I have just published a book on the writer, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.bbotw.com).

Stephen Isabirye

Vicki said...

The character of Meg in "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle is also very good - a smart girl who is good at math. There are really quite a number of good children's books that could qualify as feminist that are also very good on spiritual formation - and not all recently written.

Vicki McGrath+