Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Publisher Ladybird drops gender-specific children's book titles

rexfeatures_2357273a.jpg

Children's book publisher Ladybird have confirmed they will no longer brand books ‘for girls’ or ‘for boys’, a milestone push in the drive to end gender-biased marketing in children's book.

The company, which has been printing children's books since 1915, said in a statement it doesn't want "to be seen to be limiting children in any way".

Ladybird's current offering of gendered titles include Favourite Fairy Tales for Girls - including stories such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty - and Favourite Stories for Boys - featuring Jack and the Beanstalk and the Three Little Pigs.

"Following discussions, should any of the titles you mention be reprinted for the trade we will be removing this labelling," the publisher's message continued.

"Out of literally hundreds of titles currently in print, we actually only have the six titles you cite with this kind of titling, so I do feel we offer a vast range for children and their parents".

Ladybird fairy tales for girls

Ladybird Books added that its parent company, the Penguin Random House children’s division, would also be implementing the changes. "Our commitment to avoiding gendered titles in the trade crosses all our imprints," they said.

So far seven publishers have backed the Let Books Be Books campaign - an offshoot of the Let Toys Be Toys drive - which is asking publishers to take the "Boys" and "Girls" labels off books and allow children to choose freely what kinds of stories and activity books interest them.

The list of supporters who have said they will not be releasing any new girl/boy labelled titles include Parragon, Chad Valley, Dorling Kindersley, Miles Kelly, and Paperchase.

Earlier this year, the campaign also won the support of Britain's largest specialist bookseller Waterstones, vowing that its stores will try to avoid separating out boys' and girls' fiction.

Ladybird fairy tales for boys

"These books exist, but we think there are better ways of choosing for children than basing it on whether they are a boy or a girl," a Waterstones spokesperson said at the time.

The campaign has also attracted high profile backing from authors including former Children’s Laureate Anne Fine, current Laureate Malorie Blackman, poet Laureate Carol-Ann Duffy and  author of the His Dark Materials series, Philip Pullman.

However, while the Let Books Be Books campaign has seen significant changes in the industry, publishers including Buster Books, Igloo Books and Autumn publishing continue to label books by gender.

Related

247_tablet_lisa_lead_v2.jpg

The 25 books every woman should read

rexfeatures_948033a.jpg

20 opening lines from our favourite Christmas books

hero.jpg

50 best Christmas books

Comments

More

UK publisher launches new imprint to address diversity in books

Fewer than 100 books written by non-white British authors were published last year

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 May 2017

Emily Browning slams Twilight series as “emotionally abusive”

Aussie actor was Stephenie Meyer’s first pick to play Bella

by Joe Ellison
16 May 2017

Here’s how you can (legally) watch The Handmaid’s Tale in the UK

We finally have the answer

by Kayleigh Dray
16 May 2017

These are the books you need to read, according to female TED speakers

12 inspirational tomes to add to your reading list

by Sarah Biddlecombe
15 May 2017

Two brilliant word-of-mouth books to pop on your summer reading list

Load up your Kindle, pronto

by Anna Brech
10 May 2017

Book lovers, this is what your reading habits say about you

Good news for drama and romance fans

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 May 2017

A second series of The Handmaid’s Tale has been confirmed

“It will be an interesting challenge, since I myself have never known what happened to Offred”

by Amy Swales
04 May 2017

Book-lovers, this intriguing new site will broaden your horizons

Lounge Books features "people-powered" recommendations

by Anna Brech
01 May 2017

How to turn your recipe collection into a bestselling book

You don’t have to be a qualified chef or TV star to clinch a cookbook deal in 2017

by Gemma Crisp
01 May 2017

Ruby Tandoh on how to support a friend with a mental health problem

You are not alone.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
28 Apr 2017