Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Declaration of the Rights of Boys & Girls – Book Review

I just came across this awesome book by Élisabeth Brami & Estelle Billon-Spagnol. Straight away it’s getting 10 out of 10 planets so you really have no need to read any further, but for those who are curious read on. I’m proud to say that Wexford Libraries have this title on their shelves.


Declaration of the Rights of Boys & Girl by Élisabeth Brami & Estelle Billon-Spagnol
(image from Little island)

Title: Declaration of the Rights of Boys and Girls
Authors: Élisabeth Brami & Estelle Billon-Spagnol
Publisher: Little Island Books
Ages: 3-100
ISBN: 9781910411278

It’s a delightful book challenging stereotypes of what boys and girls should do, their feelings, who they should love and how they should act.  It has funny descriptions of what jobs, hobbies and what they can wear.  It is quite frankly a book that every child from the age of 3 should have on their shelf.

It has one unusual aspect, the girl and boy sections are separate, you turn the book one way to read one side, flip it over to read the other.  Its funny how in writing, designing and publishing a book about equality and diversity that the girl and boy sections are separate but it’s not near enough to lose any rating points.

Declaration of the Rights of Boys & Girl by Élisabeth Brami & Estelle Billon-Spagnol
(image from Little island)

The illustrations are fun and cheerful, girls having the right to be dirty and boys having the right to wear pink.  I love the way it uses the format of “Articles”, just like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with Article 15 for both boys and girls being

...The right to fall in love with anyone they like...

Declaration of the Rights of Boys & Girl by Élisabeth Brami & Estelle Billon-Spagnol


Amnesty International also supports the “declaration”, which debunks received ideas and stereotypes – a quirky list of invented rights, which reminds us how important it is to value equality for all.

Whilst a lot of work has been done to empower girls, yes they can be outspoken, strong and even astronauts we need to do a lot more work to show boys they can be compassionate, shy and (Article 10) "not to be muscly without being called a sissy”.  Ultimately, the book does a fantastic job of spreading a message of equality without being preachy or insulting to anyone’s faith.   There’s really not much else to say except buy it now.  A must read for all ages.




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