Children’s publisher to drop gendered titles following campaign

Buster Books has announced plans to publish all future books under gender neutral titles.

A popular children’s publisher has announced plans to scrap gendered titles of all future book releases.

Buster Books – the children’s imprint of independent publisher Michael O’Mara Books – tweeted their plans following intense pressure from campaign group ‘Let Books Be Books’.

The group believes gendered titles – such as ‘The Glamorous Girls’ Book’ The Unbeatable Boys’ Book – “send out very limiting messages to children about what kinds of things are appropriate for girls or for boys.”

Campaigners are ultimately hoping to break down the gender divide and neutralise children’s books in order to make them “accessible for all children”.

Other changes championed by the campaign include scrapping stereotypical “blue covers, with themes of action and adventure, robots, space, trucks and pirates” for boys, and pink covers, which they say signify “sparkles, fairies, princesses, flowers and butterflies.”

O’Mara had originally rubbished the campaign, claiming gendered books would always sell more copies.

“The proof is in the pudding,” he stated. “Our two best children books ever are The Boys’ Book and The Girls’ Book.”

However, it seems the publisher has has a change of heart, after prolific writers such as Carol Ann Duffy, Philip Pullman and Malorie Blackman leant their voices to the cause.

The news delighted campaigners – who say the move will encourage children to “pursue a wider, more diverse range of interests”.

“Buster has one of the highest number of gendered books – we came up with over 70 gendered titles just this morning,” Tessa Trabue told The Guardian.

“So many of their titles just have stereotypes implicit in them.”

Ms Trabue added that she hopes the move will encourage other publishers – such as Igloo Books – to make the same changes to their own, gender-specific titles.