In a previous post are the screenshots of the emails i have sent to existing illustrator’s; asking their opinion on the question of gender stereotyping in children’s books and what the illustrators role is in this issue. I have already had a reply from Quentin Blake’s secretary informing me he is too busy to answer questions, so that was a shame but i hadn’t expected a reply from someone so busy 🙂 But i have been fortunate to have had some replies from illustrators that have been very helpful!
I also emailed Chris Campe who wrote the article in Varoom in gender stereotyping in illustration, because i felt she would have a well informed and rounded opinion on the matter and thankfully she gave me some very interesting and useful answers to my questions. The questions changed slightly with each illustrator i emailed due to me wanting questions to relate to them directly and not seem vague:
It’s worth a shot! Seriously though, I think I can. I do feel very strongly about gender equality and as with most things, I think the younger we teach people, the better. I tried to write the story so that it was fun and that young children of both sexes would see the humour in it. These are quite serious issues but you can’t ram them down the throats of 5 years old. It has to be a fun learning curve.
Hmm this isn’t that relevant to me, in that this is my first children’s book and I wrote it and set the brief and published it. I have never actually been briefed to illustrate a children’s book.
My own daughter really (Pearl, who is 5 years old). I witness so many stereotypes being forced upon her as she looks at books and comics, as she watches TV and as she walks around in supermarkets or the high street. It’s so harmful and it’s plain to see that it’s a money making exercise by larger companies. What they are doing is wrong and damaging to young children’s attitudes towards each other and damaging to their own ambitions and confidence.
Yes, I’d like to see more strong, young female characters. Less princesses, less pink, less stay at home mums, less dads out at work, less male doctors, less female nurses… I could go on and on and on. Whilst I realise that there ARE female nurses and that there is nothing wrong with pink, we need to take positive steps to readdress the balance: which I hope is what ‘Pearl power’ does.
Again, this is irrelevant, sorry.