I found this in a second hand bookshop today. I love the cover but I was tickled by the title too.

I note from the inside sleeve that Alfred Morgan was also the author of A First Electrical Book For Boys and An Aquarium Book for Boys and Girls. So at least girls could be trusted with fish in 1956.

To be fair, the sleeve notes do at least point out that: ‘Experimenting with electricity is one of the most fascinating pastimes for any boy – or girl.’ And quite right. After all, surely everyone should be entitled to have Fun With A Spark Coil? (Chapter Six)

It all has a certain ironic kitsch charm, but sadly, almost fifty years on and matters haven’t necessarily improved.

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The Let Books Be Books campaign is putting pressure on publishers to end this kind of gender stereotyping.

Speaking in a recent article in The Guardian, author Phillip Pullman said: “I’m against anything, from age-ranging to pinking and blueing, whose effect is to shut the door in the face of children who might enjoy coming in. No publisher should announce on the cover of any book the sort of readers the book would prefer. Let the readers decide for themselves.”