Pink is for girls. Blue is for boys.
Girls play house. Boys play cricket.
Cry like a girl. Kick like a boy.

Sometimes grown-ups can say silly things that just aren’t true – not for all kids anyway!

This book is an attempt by a mum to start a conversation with her little one about gender stereotypes. It encourages kids to question these notions before they begin to shape their thinking and offers adults an opportunity to initiate this very necessary discussion.


  • Pink and Blue tries to challenge the gender-based stereotypes that children grow up being exposed to. It addresses some of the most commonplace assumptions about gender roles – pink is for girls and blue is for boys; boys don’t cry; girls don’t have short hair, and so on – by arguing that no activity or preference needs to be gender specific.
  • Pink and Blue deals with an important and sensitive theme in a very straightforward manner. The book shows us the prejudices we might hold and then dismantles them gently and without judgement. It encourages children to be open-minded about what it means to be a boy or a girl and attempts to help shape not only how they see the boys and girls around them but also how they see themselves.
  • This is an ideal book for parents and educators to use to start a conversation around gender and get young readers to think beyond stereotypes and stock notions.
  • Vishnu M Nair’s illustrations are bright and engaging and complement the text well. The colour schemes and detailing are particularly delightful, and lend a cheerful tone to the message of the text. The title of the book is cleverly printed in interchanged colours sending the message that we need to change our perceptions of gender too.
  • The text is neither in the form of a story or a poem. It is simply a set of sentences that are animated by the illustrations. When read aloud, Pink and Blue has the feeling of a lesson rather than a narrative. If the book’s message to question gender stereotypes had been embedded in a larger story or poem, it may have been more engaging and subtle, leading a young reader to think and arrive at some answers herself rather than be led by the ideas in the book. The use of rhyme could also have made the book more fun to read.


Pink and Blue is a useful entry point into the conversation around a child’s developing notions of gender roles.


Author: Ritu Vaishnav
Illustrator: Vishnu M Nair
Language: English
Page Extent: 32 pages
Price: Rs. 250
ISBN: 9780143442554
Publisher: Puffin Books, 2018
Subject category: Non-Fiction/Picture Book/Gender
Age-group: 4+

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