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New Guardians of Education

Gillian Avery, 17 July 1980

Racism and Sexism in Children’s Books 
edited by Judith Stinton.
Writers and Readers, 147 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 906495 19 9
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Babies need books 
by Dorothy Butler.
Bodley Head, 190 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 9780370301518
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... The father places his penis in the mother’s vagina.’ Modern prudery shies away, affronted, from this statement in a manual of sex education – not for Dr Bowdler’s reasons, but because the Young Person of today might infer from it that the female role in life is to be passive. Racism and Sexism in Children’s Books, which enshrines this and much other theorising about what should bring a blush to the cheek of the Young Person and, more important, to that of his mentor, is an undistinguished, one might even say dismally puerile, little collection of essays ...

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