Learning About Gender Identity & Fairness

Title of Children’s Book:  The Story of Ferdinand

Author(s) of Children’s Book:  Munro Leaf

Brief Summary of the Book:

The Story of Ferdinand is a story of a young bull who lives with his mother and other young bulls in a pasture in Spain. Ferdinand likes to spend most of his days under his favourite cork tree quietly smelling flowers. Whereas the other young bulls seem to prefer rumble, tumble kind of play (e.g., running and bucking). One day, after years went by, 5 men came out to the pasture to select the bull for a bull fight that was to happen in Madrid. The men were looking for the most ferocious bull they could find for this fight. Ferdinand did not care to be selected for this competition while the other bulls competed with one another for the attention of the 5 men. As it happened, the passive and seemingly recluse Ferdinand was stung by a bee which in turn sent him into a violent fit of rage and the 5 men decided that Ferdinand would be the best bull for the fight. Little did the 5 men know, this rage from this beast is not typical behaviour of Ferdinand; in fact, quite the opposite is true. Ferdinand was expected to fight the Matador in the ring but instead Ferdinand chose to sit and smell the flowers that were tossed into the ring. Despite all efforts to make Ferdinand angry enough to fight, it was all for naught.

Title of Children’s Book:  In Our Mothers’ House

Author(s) of Children’s Book:  Patricia Polacco
Brief Summary of the Book:

“In Our Mothers’ House” is the story of a young girl’s relationship with her two mothers and her siblings. It shows a brief overview of life in her childhood home as well as all the love and laughter they shared together during her childhood. This story also briefly touches on homophobia but primarily focuses on the loving home the two moms have made for their three children.

Title of Children’s Book:  Red: A Crayon’s Story

Author(s) of Children’s Book:  Michael Hall

Brief Summary of the Book:

In Red: A Crayon’s Story, a young crayon with a red label struggles to fit that label. His teacher first tries to help him be red by coloring strawberries with him. His mother then tries to help him by encouraging him to make orange things with the yellow crayon and his grandparents try to help by giving him a red scarf. The art supplies try loosening his label, taping his label on, and sharpening him. The other crayons begin to think he isn’t trying hard enough, or is maybe just a late bloomer. He then meets a friend who asks him to draw an ocean. Even though he protests that he cannot, because he is labelled red, his friend insists this doesn’t matter. Once he draws this ocean, he realizes that even though his label says “red”, he is actually blue. Once he makes his realization, things begin to fall into place for him, and the other crayon’s see that he is excellent at drawing blue things.

Title of Children’s Book:  The Paper Bag Princess

Author(s) of Children’s Book:  Robert Munsch

Brief Summary of the Book:

The Paper Bag Princess is about a princess named Elizabeth who is about to marry a prince named Ronald but then a dragon comes along and tries to destroy the castle and kidnaps her prince, Ronald. Elizabeth gets her clothes burned off when the dragon breathes fire on her and she is then forced to wear a paper bag because that is all that she can find to wear. Elizabeth finds the dragon and tries to outsmart him so that she can try and save Ronald. When she finally saves him, Ronald is disgusted by the way that she looks because she doesn’t look anything like how a princess should look.

*Book selection & summary made in conjunction with students from Winter 2017 ECE 325 class.