Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone (Robb Pearlman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone, written by Robb Pearlman and illustrated by Eda Kaban, a wonderful look at the limitless possibilities of nongendered play.

Toys are for everyone. Dolls and trucks, superhero capes and nurses’ scrubs, sewing machines and hockey sticks and mixing bowls and video games and unicorns (especially unicorns because, come on, UNICORNS). All toys, dress-up costumes, and ways of imagining and creating are for boys, girls, and anyone who wants to use their imagination and build their skills. So don’t let anyone tell you that something is only for boys or girls, because kindness and understanding is for everyone too, and in play, just as in life, our possibilities are limitless.

Fantastic. In this marvelous pseudo-sequel to the pair’s previous title, Pink is for Boys, Pearlman and Kaban deconstruct notions of gendered play in a way that wisely incorporates open-minded approaches to play and to gender itself. The simple, enthusiastic text is easy and fun to read, yet also subtly incorporates inclusion that goes beyond boys vs. girls, adding on gender-neutral terms like “everybody” and “anyone” to include readers who lie outside the gender binary. Kaban furthers this sense of intersectional inclusion with a cast of cheerful and affectionate kids with different skintones, hair types, abilities, gender presentation, and even body types (the latter is a rarity, even in books on diversity). The result is an affirming lesson in the possibilities of imaginative and creative play when arbitrary limitations are not placed on the children playing. The length is perfect for a storytime for even very young readers, and JJ and I both loved it. A perfect book to encourage kids to rethink stereotypes about playtime, and we highly recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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