Plenty of brands, parents and even schools are embracing a more gender-neutral approach to childhood, but the options for creative kids who want to color remain limited. Princesses and gardens for girls, cars and trucks for boys—yawn!
That’s why we were excited to discover Dream Big! More than a Princess. Each page of the coloring book features a girl sharing her dream of becoming a professional, such as a politician or a community organizer.
Stephanie Tabashneck, psychologist and author of the book, tells the Ms. Blog that she created More than a Princess because she was concerned “with the messages being sent to young girls and in particular young girls of color.” She continues,
Every day we’re bombarded with images of girls in one-dimensional, passive roles. There are very few books for children that capture the strength and ambition of girls today. The situation for girls of color is even worse—they are virtually absent. As a psychologist, I’m very aware of the devastating impact these subtle messages have on children. I wanted to be a part of the solution.
Tabashneck says she created a coloring book, rather than a straight-forward children’s book, because she “wanted girls to actively participate in the ‘dream big’ narrative and process the crystal clear message that all girls should reach for the stars. Through coloring, girls have the opportunity to ‘try on’ different careers and engage with the material in a unique way.”
Tabashneck says a Dream Big book for boys is next on her to-do list: “Boys are also pigeonholed by gender roles,” she says. “I think it is just as important to free boys from gender stereotypes.”
If you work with low-income children, contact Tabashneck through her website for free access to the Dream Big coloring pages.