Canada’s Globe & Mail has had a go, in an editorial, at the UK’s IoS editor’s announcement that she will no longer consider for review books that come in gender-specific cover designs.
“A tad fanatical”, the editorial thinks.
The sins of undiscerning marketers should not be visited on innocent children’s books. Katy Guest, the literary editor of the Independent on Sunday newspaper in Britain, announced on the weekend that henceforth no children’s book that is marketed by the publisher as “for girls” or “for boys” would even be considered for review. That strikes us as a tad fanatical.
If there is a problem here, blame adults who know little or nothing about children’s literature (or literature), and just want someone to help them figure out what to buy for this or that child. Yes, a children’s book that is narrowly directed to one gender is probably not a good book. But the fault may lie in a publishing company’s presentation, rather than what the author has written. And is it so wrong for cover designers and dust-jacket writers to try to help buyers, by suggesting who might be most likely to enjoy a book? Ms. Guest’s promise to throw ostensibly gender-targeted children’s books “straight into the recycling pile” will cause injustices.