This is a book solely made up of Pictures created by illustrator Annie Kubler. I found this one interesting because the lack of words gives the reader a chance to form their own opinions, and this book challenges the gender roles of males which you don’t see as often as books challenging the gender roles of females. The pictures in this book depict a father and son doing the housework, cooking dinner and doing things that have been stereotypically viewed in the media as “womens work”. It totally changes the roles in a good way, the father and child are bonding whilst waiting for the mother to come home from work, but it doesn’t make light of the work and turn the father into some sort of superhero because of it, it simply gives him the same roles as a mother would and tries to make that acceptable by changing what “mans work” generally means. The illustration on the cover of this is brightly coloured, simple and the child is quite androgynous so i don’t think it would matter if the child looking at the book were male or female, its simply an image of a child which can be hard to achieve. I personally really like this take on a book, where its just imagery you can form your own ideas about the story, and i think thats excellent for children because it will allow them to think more about gender without having the words explaining it in a way that might not come across as gender neutral. The toys pictured in the illustration are also mixed gender, which implies if the child is a boy its ok to play with dolls and if the child is a girl then she is not discouraged from playing with trains and cars. This really is one of the most gender neutral children’s books i have come across so far, and its so simple. Its a £2.99 board book that can open up a whole world of gender neutral possibilities without the use of words, so these images are very powerful.
This book, Pearl power is very new! It has been written and illustrated by Mel Elliot, and i think writing and illustrating a book at the same times gives a huge amount of creative freedom and you are able to express exactly what you want to with no negotiations required. So this is an interesting one, it does add a whole new realm to my question of what role does the illustrator play in gender representation, and this new role is that they can take full control and write the book themselves too! This is not of course the main option, and not the main aspect of the illustrators role i wish to focus on but it will influence my practice because it gives me a new option of creating a picture book solely of my own work, that gives me a new freedom to be as gender neutral as i wish. This story is about a little girl called pearl that believes very strongly in gender equality, whose mother has just been promoted so the family are relocating. Here Pearl attends a new school where she challenges a little boys view of girls and teaches him a few things about what girls can do, and kindess. It’s a modern take on feminism that is totally needed. The illustrations themselves are fantastic, they are neutral in colour and show no sign of pink, i think this is intentional to enforce the idea of pink not being a girls colour. Also although it is very clear that Pearl is a female character, she is not glitzy or primped in any manner, she embodies a child and that is very encouraging to young females who are surrounded by images of princesses with impossibly tiny waists and golden hair. I love how simple and flat the images are, because it just emphasizes how simple feminism can be, especially to a younger generation.