Something you might not have noticed, but it was intentional
Today I wanted to talk about an element of the book that some have noticed. The first person to notice saw it before the book was even out. He was five years old, let’s call him Alan (not his real name) and he really enjoyed finding the fly with each page turn, the repeated verse so that he could read along, and then he said, “They are like our family, the mom works and the dad is at home!” Alan’s mother does have a full-time job and Alan’s dad stays home and takes care of Alan, prepares his lunches, etc. Basically, what Alan noticed was that the traditional gender roles had been reversed. I also had a childhood friend who is an author, who noticed and complimented me on reversing the traditional gender roles. I didn’t do this in an overt, in your face way, because in our society, these roles are more unique in our perceptions than they are in our minds. My wife and I are both university faculty members. Our son had both of us not fulfilling any particular roles, but instead, we concentrated on filling needs of our family. That is the same with Alan’s family, but in many of the books he was reading, the families were more like what we refer to as traditional gender roles. So, when Alan is reading those books, he begins to feel like his family isn’t “normal.” Alan’s excitement was not really anything I anticipated or expected. I did intentionally reverse the roles, but I wanted to still write the book in a way that didn’t emphasize the roles, but they were just part of the story and just another of the many ways that families operate. Did you notice the traditional roles of mom and dad were reversed? Alan did.