Pinkalicious spreads her message to the board-book set.
And it is relentless. “One wand, “two teacups,” and “three teddy bears” set a stereotypically girly stage. There is the occasional feeble attempt to counteract this, but inserting a few “boy toys” among all the Pinkalicious paraphernalia is jarring, not egalitarian. A brown basketball, green tennis ball, and white baseball with five otherwise pastel balls feel out of place. Six of the “ten toys” are typically associated with boys (though the airplane is pink), but then the book reverts to theme with a heart-shaped constellation of 11 stars, followed by passive pages of candy, butterflies, snowflakes, seashells, hearts, etc. (Yes, our heroine is shown climbing a precarious stack of furniture to reach pink cupcakes on top of a refrigerator, but that's not the kind of spunk most parents want their little darlings—whatever their genders—to emulate.) Pinkalicious ABC, published simultaneously, includes a scant handful of boys in three pictures. The only other male is a surly-looking man (dad?) hiding behind the Pinkville “newspaper” opposite a doting “M is for Mommy.”
Children learn gender stereotypes soon enough. No need to rush the process. (Board book. 2-4)