Kids Books That Defy Gender Stereotypes

Many children's books continue to promote gender stereotypes. But these five books kick the roles moms, dads and even boys and girls are usually cast in.

Not all moms are sole caregivers at home, making dinner and disciplining the kids. And we know that it’s not only dad who goes to work these days and comes home to be buddies with his kids.

However, these are some of the roles mom and dad characters are pigeonholed into in many of the books we share with our children, according to a study on gender stereotypes in children’s books.

Want to read the kids a story that isn’t so traditional for a change? Break the mold by cracking open one of these stereotype-defying reads at bedtime.


Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

In the book Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Little Nutbrown Hare wants to show his dad Big Nutbrown Hare just how much he loves him, asking him, “Guess how much I love you?” Big Nutbrown Hare returns the sentiment, showing his son how much he loves him right back. This book’s whole focus is on the love between a dad and his son. Available on starting at about $5.


Ballerino Nate by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

When Nate falls in love with ballet, he decides he wants to learn to dance for himself. His brother Ben, however, doesn’t think Nate can or should participate in ballet because he is a boy. Ballerino Nate by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley sends the message that you don’t have to be a certain gender to enjoy the things you love. Available on for about $30.


Marty McGuire by Kate Messner

A girl named Marty McGuire is the star of this chapter book. She’s a “tomboy” who likes catching frogs instead of playing dress-up. When she’s chosen to play a princess in a school play, she comes up with a unique way to make the role her own. You can get Marty McGuire by Kate Messner on for about $5.


Shopping with Dad by Matt Harvey

Shopping with Dad by Matt Harvey chronicles a dad and daughter duo’s adventures at the grocery store. Mom hands the shopping list over to dad while she goes to work, which switches up the typical gender roles. Purchase this book on in paperback for about $6.


Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman

The children’s book, written in rhyme, follows the daily activities of a family, comprised of a same-sex couple and their toddler. Mommy, Mama, and Me by Leslea Newman tells the story of love and family, and also depicts a nontraditional family instead of a mom and dad in traditional roles. There is also a similar book by the same author called Daddy, Papa, and Me. Both books are available on for around $7.

This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for 2016.


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