Pink, Blue & You!: Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes by Elise Gravel
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publishing Date: March 8, 2022
Simple, accessible, and direct, this picture book is perfect for kids and parents or teachers to read together, opening the door to conversations about gender stereotypes and everyone’s right to be their true selves.
Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.
With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how appropriate male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.
The first thing that stood out to me about this book is the style in which it is written. This book is written as questions to children who you may read this to along with factual information about gender, sexuality, and sex. I really liked that this book is written this way because it opens up the conversation for children and shows them that it is okay to question things that they may have learned from society.
I know that this is going to be a book that conservatives have issues with just because of the way it opens up these conversations. I believe that this book is acceptable for children as young as 4 because it is a great introduction to these topics in a way that they would understand. I shared this book with my mom who works with young children and she said it was a great book.
Something that I enjoy about this book is how it frames the concept of family and the diversity that it shows in the families that are displayed. I love how throughout the book there is a diversity in the images that are drawn and in the examples that are given. I think that was an important part that was included because so many children will be able to see themselves in this book.
I was born in Montreal in 1977 and I started drawing not very long after I was born. In kindergarten I was popular because I was able to draw princesses with long spiral hair. Then, in high school, the girls would ask me to draw their ideal guy in their diary. I became very good at drawing muscles and hair, which I used later when I illustrated my book The Great Antonio . On the other hand, I am always just as bad when it comes time to use a diary correctly.
Later, I studied graphic design at Cegep and that’s when I understood that I wanted to do illustration. After my first book, the Catalog des Gaspilleurs , I wrote and illustrated about thirty others . One of my books, The Wrench , won the Governor General’s Award in the Illustration category, and since that time I have a big head and I brag all the time.
I live in Montreal with my two daughters, my husband, my cats and a few spiders. I am currently working on various projects in Quebec, English Canada and the United States. My books are translated into a dozen languages. I hope to live a long time so that I can still make lots and lots of books because I still have lots and lots of ideas.