Both the new GoldieBlox books and the American Girl book Kit helps girls see a new identity of “girl” as it shows that it is okay to be a lover of STEM and not enjoy the typical girl activities you see in children’s books today.
In children books, girls are usually represented as princesses or playing with dolls. It is very rare to see a girl represented as an aspiring engineer. That’s why GoldieBlox, a toy company that makes items such as a zip line and a skydiving kit, is creating books that represents a girl engineer that girls can look up to and see their identity in. The founder of GoldieBlox said, “On TIME’s list of 100 Best Children’s Books, only 53 included female characters who spoke, and even less had female characters who weren’t princesses or girls waiting on their prince.” Clearly, girls that identified as a lover of making things or inventing things were not represented in books.
The Keyword’s article “Identity” says, “Adults have long believed that it is crucial for children to see themselves in the book so that their particular identity structures are validated and affirmed.” This is what the new GoldieBlox books will do for girls that aspire to work in the STEM field someday. “Identity” also talks about how children learn how to perform based on the feedback they receive from others or how people react to them. Girls typically learn from books that it is weird and not normal to love STEM. Since childhood is a time of identity formation, it is important that girls are shown a variety of different identities, so they don’t assume one is right and the other is wrong.
In the American Girl book Kit, you will see Kit struggle with gender norms which is a factor that helps form identity. Kit’s mom made her room all pink and girly which Kit did not like. She wanted to make a tree house instead to live in. By American Girl creating a girl character that loves to create things, play sports, write, and dislikes princesses is showing girls that it is okay to identify as something other than what is overplayed in children’s books.
For more information: http://blog.goldieblox.com/2017/04/goldieblox-introduces-chapter-books-random-house/