Children’s book publisher Ladybird will celebrate its 100 year anniversary next year, but we think their latest venture is even more reason to cheer: they recently announced they are dropping gender labels from their books. As new supporters of the Let Books Be Books campaign, Ladybird will avoid gendered titles (such as current works like Favourite Fairy Tales for Girls and Favourite Stories for Boys) in reprintings and in future publishing ventures. Popular authors such as Neil Gaiman have also signed on to the campaign as well as six other publishers including Usborne. Let Books Be Books focuses on removing gender labels and gendered book titles, explaining that artificial boundaries turn children away from their true preferences, and provide a fertile ground for bullying as well as promote stereotypes. While some publishers have pointed out that gender labeling is commonly an effective marketing tactic, those supporting the Let Books Be Books campaign are taking the stance that children should be encouraged to read and explore whatever books they choose and to develop their own interests accordingly.
Images © Ladybird Books