4 Children's Books That Break Gender Role Stereotypes

children's illustrated book cover entitled want to play trucks
Peter Ardito
These children's books feature sensitive boys expressing themselves in whichever way they want—no monsters, superheroes or gender role stereotypes in sight.
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Julián Is a Mermaid

Julián loves mermaids. So when he spots ladies on the train decked out in dreamy dresses with fishtail hems, he can’t wait to get home to mimic them—a curtain becomes his tail, flower stems transform into an elaborate headpiece, and lipstick completes the look. And suddenly, Julián Is a Mermaid. But then his abuela catches him. Is she angry? Nope! She knows just the place to take him: the mermaid parade! Ages 4+

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different

Did you know that Bill Gates was once told no one would want a home computer? Or that Steven Spielberg was bullied because of his religion? Or that Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter films, has a disorder that makes it hard for him to tie his shoes? Each of the 75 people in Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different were once considered “weird” by others but grew up to accomplish big, amazing things. Ages 9+

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

The Whispers

Riley believes in The Whispers, magical wish-granting fairies in the deep Carolina woods that he thinks can bring back his missing mom. But he also worries that his “condition”—the fact that he would rather kiss boys than girls—is why she’s gone. When he bravely pursues the winged beings, he discovers more than just the truth. We’re predicting this emotional story will be an award winner. Ages 10+

Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito

Want to Play Trucks?

Almost every morning, Jack and Alex meet in the sandbox at the park. Jack prefers trucks and loud sirens and likes to wreck things. Alex is into dolls and the color pink and sparkly dresses. And just when you think Alex will answer no to Jack’s question of Want to Play Trucks?, he suggests the best game ever: dolls that drive trucks! (Ah, toddler ingenuity.) Ages 3+, $16

Priscilla Gragg
Priscilla Gragg

Browse More Great Children's Books

Selected by literacy experts and 75 kid testers, the new children's books on Parents' 10th annual best-of list will be favorites for years to come.

Check out Parents' 15 Best Children's Books 2018 

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