Children’s literature is a powerful medium for learning about society’s norms and expectations with regards to gender, race, ethnicity, and class etc.  What was the message being sent to children who viewed the above book published in 1970?

“I’m Glad I’m a Boy!  I’m Glad I’m a Girl” by Whitney Darrow, Jr.  (More pictures at

Times change, or at least we wish for change, hoping to guide society in new directions away from limiting, stereotypical, old-fashioned expectations that are placed on the individual based on notions of essentialism rather than social constructivism.   In 1980, children’s author and illustrator Richard Scarry updated the illustrations in his book “Best Word Book Ever”, revealing a freer, more diverse society:  The 1980s!  And yet still today the same outdated stereotypes are prevalent within the world of literature, continuing to uphold the same ideals of who the child should be today, and who she/he should become: