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Kaethe

Kaethe

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How To Be a Lion - Ed Vere 

How To Be a Lion - Ed Vere

Here is one of my inconsistencies: I am willing to accept athropomorphized critters writing poetry and talking and so forth, I'm good. But, when authors write about lions as hunters, and then only illustrate with male lions, I am sorely vexed. It's not that I'm in favor of heavily gendered roles: my specific exception is to using the male as default, even when the male doesn't exhibit the behaviors one has selected the animal character for in the first place. I'm sorry Mr. Vere, in some ways I like your book, but the particular masculine stereotype that your whole book is built on doesn't apply to the species you selected. There aren't usually a lot of grown males lions in a pride, mostly the boys leave around age 3. And "hanging about" is the thing: the males don't do the hunting for the pride, and lion society is matriarchal, so if anyone was trying to enforce behavior, it would be the Queen.

 

I don't mind the fanciful, but I balk at the wrong. One way to discourage rigid sex roles is to actually teach children the vast array of behaviors to be found across species. I'm not saying picture book creators have to be zoologists, but a cursory read of Wikipedia would clear up some of this sort of thing.

 

Library copy