Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What to read to your little girl who is contemplating her career or your little boy who says, "A girl can't do that..."

After a stray question and observation: "You seem to be really interested in how the body works, maybe you'd like to be a doctor someday," my girl has been contemplating career choices. At five-almost-six, she is already concerned about work-life balance. She has suggested that she become a gymnastics teacher, so she can bring her kids with her to work. Her latest musing was wondering if she would make a good teacher. After all, as she pointed out, she does enjoy teaching Kit and Maryellen (her American Girl dolls). But, if she is going to be a teacher, she only wants to teach on Mondays and Tuesdays when her husband can be home with the children. He can work the rest of the day while she stays home. 

As a lawyer turned stay-at-home mom, I feel some pressure to expose her to the concept that she does not have to be a stay at home mom. She certainly can be. It is a wonderful, life-giving career. But, she can also do other things, including being a stay-at-home mom and... 

When this book popped up on A Mighty Girl's book selections, I added it to our library holds. And, it proved worthy of the hold. 

Jennifer Fosberry's story is charming. In it, Isabella protests at being called "Isabella" and instead pretends to be a variety of women who have achieved remarkable feats. Women such as Marie Curie, Sally Ride, and (the role model that makes this book unique) Mommy. This book validates careers for women in traditionally male-dominated role while recognizing the importance of Mommy. I love that it does not diminish my role as a stay-at-home mom while also opens conversations for our family to talk about other women role models. 

Lest you think this book is only for young girls, let me correct you! My almost-four-year-old boy adores this book. He has picked it up to look at and for us to read to him every day since we brought it home from the library. My son, who has such gems as, "Mom, get in the kitchen and make me some food," (said while watching a football game) written in his baby book. This not only helps my daughter see herself in different roles, it helps my son see my daughter as a scientist, an astronaut, and a sharpshooter. It helps him see me as these things. And, it helps him see other girls and women this way too. 

This is one book that will eventually make its way into our permanent library! 

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