Coloring Book Review: Girls Are Not Chicks

[ 5 ] December 15, 2009 |

Reviewed by Katy Killilea

pumpkinI have no daughters, but I’ve gathered that Bratz dolls and spangled Barbies are as inevitable as light sabers and Nerf gu—Nerf dart propelling devices are for boys. I grew up with loads of Barbies in the 1970s, and I remember my mom diligently balancing my Barbie lust with Free to Be You and Me (book and album) and a story book called Girls Can Do Anything. I remember my mom telling me, “You know you won’t look like Barbie when you grow up. You’ll probably look like me.” I was happy–what little girl doesn’t think her mom is the most beautiful woman in the world? Until…the disembodied Barbie head with makeup kit came on the market. That sealed it: I wanted makeup! Skimpy clothes! And to be an ice angel on Donnie and Marie!

For parents looking to balance out their home’s collection of–what precisely is the real offense?–slutty/pornographic/unrealistic body image-inducing/etc. toys, consider Girls Are Not Chicks. This is the coloring book with a Rapunzel who rescues herself, using duct tape and a Tina Turner album, and a Little Miss Muffet who matter-of-factly tells an encroaching spider, “I ain’t moving from this tuffet.” There are girls and boys–or girls with short hair. Or boys with long hair. Probably boys and girls. Without all of the stereotypical gender signifiers, it’s impossible to say–riding a school bus together to a place with lots of drums and co-ed ice hockey.

Quirky, smart, and funny? Yes. A coloring book? Ostensibly, but it’s even more fun to read and discuss: girls on tractors, girls covering the numbers on their scales with stickers, and girls with no hair ribbons or skirts, so maybe they’re boys. Look how sad Mrs. Peter Pumpkin Eater is living in that dank pumpkin! Even if it won’t inspire a girl to abandon her vixen dolls, it will add a little oomph to her collection.

The details:
Girls Are Not Chicks

by Jacinta Bunnell and Julie Novak
2009 by PM Press $10

Category: books / stories, parenting

Katy Killilea

about the author ()

Katy Killilea lives in Barrington with her husband, their sons (2001 + 2003), and a dog named Grover. Katy loves reading, cooking, loud pants, the Beehive in Bristol, and learning everything she can about Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. She says more about that at Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes.

Comments (5)

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  1. Elyse Major elyse says:

    i want to read more about the 1st paragraph! 🙂

  2. Jaci Arnone Jaci says:

    Thank you, this sounds like a must have!

  3. calendar katy says:

    When I finally got a Barbie head, I was 26. I took it with me to Matt Murphy’s pub in Brookline after work and the group I was with got kicked out for being disorderly because we were having so much fun with her. She didn’t make the cut when I moved to Rhode Island though, so I can’t share her.

  4. Rahula says:

    great review, but really, this awesome coloring book is not just for girls! All kids will benefit from having gender stereotypes challenged and upended!

  5. Marianne says:

    Always delighted with your words!

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