Natalie Portman’s debut children’s book makes 3 classic tales ‘gender-safe’
(JTA) — Actress, director and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman can add another title to her resume: children’s book author.
The Israeli-American movie star rewrote three classic children’s stories — “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Three Little Pigs” and “Country Mouse and City Mouse” — to be more “gender-safe,” in her words, with fewer male pronouns and more gender diversity.
She wrote about the thinking behind the project in a letter on the book’s website.
So, I’ve been reading the “regular” books to my daughter that I had previously read to my son, but I’ve been newly struck by the fact that nearly all the characters in these books are male — including the animals. I started noticing that when I pointed out animals in real life, I tended to use the pronoun he. “See the duck? What does he say?” “Oh look at the doggie! What’s his name?”… In response I started changing the pronouns in my daughter’s classic books.
Portman announced the book, titled “Natalie Portman’s Fables,” on Instagram on Tuesday. It goes on sale Oct. 20.