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Talking About Gender Stereotypes with Elise Gravel and Mykaell Blais

Book cover of Pink, Blue, and You!

Walk into a store, listen to a conversation, or watch a TV show and you’ll be confronted with gender stereotypes. In many schools and workplaces, gender stereotypes are alive and well. Who do these stereotypes serve? Is there truth to them?

I’ve found gender stereotypes to be one of the more frustrating parts of motherhood. From the moment I shared that I was expecting a daughter during pregnancy, I was confronted with stereotypes. As the mother of a toddler girl, I treated Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein like a bible. I expended energy repeating things like “Colors are for everyone” and “We do pink, but we don’t do princess.” It. Was. Exhausting.

Oh, how I wish a book like Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids About Gender Stereotypes had existed when my daughter, who is now 11, was younger. It would have provided me with an easier way to engage with her about why we did/didn’t do certain things. Also, it would have given me the language I needed to have had more thoughtful conversations with other people who inquired about my parenting choices. Thankfully, Pink, Blue, and You is here now, which means I can share it with my son before he heads to Kindergarten this fall.

If you’ve ever looked through my likes and retweets on Twitter, then you’ve seen many of Elise Gravel‘s posters in my feed. I’ve been a fan of her work for years since it often takes a provocative idea or concept and makes it accessible to children. I was elated when an electronic review copy of her newest book — Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids About Gender Stereotypes, which is a collaboration with Mykaell Blais — arrived in my inbox. In a word, I thought it was brilliant!

I had the opportunity to sit down with Elise and Mykaell last week to talk about their book. I hope you watch it and leave inspired to ask questions and have important conversations about gender stereotypes with kids and adults.

Looking for the free printable posters Elise referenced in the video? Click here to view them now. Also, you may download her free ebook, Artsy Boys and Smelly Girls, which is also about gender stereotypes.

Here’s a peek inside of Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids About Gender Stereotypes:

I am deeply concerned that we are living through a time when some people are being denied the right to be their true selves. So while this book’s target audience is children, perhaps it will fall into the hands of adults too. Because — as the question poses on the back cover of the book jacket — “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where we can be ourselves?”

Giveaway Info:

  • This giveaway is for a copy of Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids About Gender Stereotypes by Elise Gravel with Mykaell Blais. Many thanks to Penguin Random House for donating a copy of the book to one of our commenters.
  • For a chance to win this copy of Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids About Gender Stereotypes, please leave a comment about this post by Sunday, April 17th at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Stacey Shubitz will use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose name she will announce at the bottom of this post, by Thursday, April 21st. You must have a U.S. mailing address to enter the giveaway.
    • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment, so Stacey can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.
  • If you are the winner of the book, Stacey will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – GRAVELBLAIS. Please respond to Stacey’s e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. A new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

Comments are now closed.

Many thanks to those who left a comment on this post. Sharon Tabalbag‘s commenter number came up and therefore she’ll receive a copy of Pink, Blue, and You!

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

12 thoughts on “Talking About Gender Stereotypes with Elise Gravel and Mykaell Blais Leave a comment

  1. Ah, I can’t wait to read this book! I already looked it up, and a nearby Barnes and Noble has it in stock! I know where I’m going when I get off work.

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  2. Loved the interview. Glad this is out in the world. Also appreciated the talking about drawing and being a beginner, and the idea that we don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it. Not only do children need to hear this, but at 68 years young it really helped me, too.

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    • I think it’s freeing when someone like Elise Gravel reminds us that you don’t have to be good at drawing immediately. The more we do something, the easier it becomes. (My stick figures have evolved a bit through the years.)

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  3. I loved listening to that interview! And now I’ve downloaded a bunch of the posters. This book looks phenomenal and so important. Wish I could buy every teacher I work with a copy! Thanks for introducing it!

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