When I was contacted with the opportunity to read & review Pink is for Boys, I jumped at the opportunity. For one, I’m always on the lookout for books that challenge the traditional gender norms to share with my children, and secondly I could tell it was going to be wonderfully illustrated. That’s a win-win in my book!
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Age Range: 3-6 years
Publisher: Running Press Kids (June 5th 2018)
Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.
Parents and kids will delight in Robb Pearlman’s sweet, simple script, as well as its powerful message: life is not color-coded.
I think we have come a long way in regards to traditional gender norms. For example, my 11 year old son loves the color pink. He also likes to read books by Raina Telgemeier (which he was told were only for girls), play with his little sister, and cook. You know what he also likes to do? He likes to play sports (football, basketball, lacrosse, etc), roughhouse with his friends, and play video games. He identifies as a boy, but also enjoys things that society has traditionally told us are for girls. Luckily my son is the type of kid that doesn’t really worry about what others think. While we have come a long way, we are not there just yet. Kids still are being teased by their peers for enjoying things that have commonly been geared towards the opposite gender.
Like I mentioned above, I really adore books that challenge traditional gender norms. I think these types of books are very important for young children in particular because we can teach them from a young age that it’s ok for them to like all different types of things, and not just what society tells them they should like. A child should never feel shame for liking something that is not the traditional norm for their gender, so another reason books like this are important is because they teach empathy & acceptance towards others.
As I anticipated from the cover, the illustrations are absolutely fabulous in Pink is for Boys. I really liked how Kaban took the color being addressed, and gave that page that color cast. For example, when talking about the color pink, the overall picture for that page had a pink hue to it. Pink is for Boys really felt like a celebration of color. I also really appreciated that Kaban illustrated a diverse cast of kids. It is so important for kids to see themselves in books, especially ones with an important message like this.
The writing in Pink is for Boys is understated, but gets the point across: all the colors are for both boys, and girls. I think the basic writing paired with the colorful illustrations compliment each other well & was a great way to present this topic. There was no dramatic storyline or plot twists, Pearlman chose to keep the story simple to emphasize the fact that colors do not belong to a specific gender, and that’s that! I’d say this book would appeal to preschool aged kids, and would be a wonderful book for a preschool setting and/or preschool aged story time at the library. The overall tone of this book is very cheerful and uplifting. The last page is particularly heartwarming and put a big smile on my face 🙂
*I would like to note that while reading another review for this book, the reviewer stated that this book supports binary gender classifications. I could see where those who do not identify as either of the traditional genders would feel excluded from this book & feel like it is supporting the idea that there are only two genders. I just wanted to include this criticism in this review.
Pink is for Boys will be available on June 5, 2018. You can pre-order your copy today!
*Big thanks to Running Press Kids for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Robb Pearlman is the author of Star Trek: Search for Spock (Cider Mill Press, 2017), Star Trek: Redshirt’s Little Book of Doom (Insight Editions, 2016); Movie Night Trivia (Cider Mill Press, 2016); I Left You a Present (Cider Mill Press, 2016); The Wit and Wisdom of Star Trek (Cider Mill Press, 2015), Fun with Kirk and Spock (Cider Mill Press, 2014), 101 Ways to Kill a Zombie (Universe, 2013), Nerd Haiku (Lyons, 2012), Spoiler Alert!: Bruce Willis Is Dead and 399 More Endings from Movies, TV, Books, and Life (Lyons Press, 2010), The Q Guide to Sex and the City (Alyson, 2008), children’s books Groundhog’s Day (Bloomsbury, 2015) Leaf Dance (Little Simon, 2001), Passover is Here! (Little Simon, 2005), and two storybook engagement calendars: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (Universe, 2011) and Disney’s Winnie the Pooh (Universe, 2011).
Robb is an associate publisher of pop culture and entertainment books including Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting, The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book, Anomalisa, Zombies on Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema, Stuck on Star Trek, and The Princess Bride: A Celebration and a calendar program that includes major licenses as Star Trek, Game of Thrones, American Gods, Downton Abbey, Bob’s Burgers, and Family Guy. He has edited monographs of the work and lives of award winning animators Bill Plympton and Ralph Bakshi, the movie tie-in books to Burlesque and Amelia, The Joker, the first book solely devoted to the DC Comics super-villain, as well as children’s books including Grandma Moses’s The Night Before Christmas, John Patrick Byrne’s Donald and Benoit, and A Poem as Big as New York City, illustrated by Masha D’yans.
Robb has had successful events and signings at San Diego and New York ComicCons, bookstores and comic book retailers in Los Angeles, New York, and New Jersey. He was featured as an on air commentator in National Geographic Channel’s “Generation X” series, contributed to HuffingtonPost.com, performed at the Nerdnite Nerdtacular, and has been featured on several pop culture blogs and SiriusXM radio shows. Robb serves on the Advisory Board of the MS in Publishing Program at Pace University and on the Board of Directors of Teachers & Writers Collaborative.