Introducing ‘The Glitter Pup & Little Unicorn’: Gender Neutral Children’s Stories

Label will soon be releasing a series of gender neutral children’s stories, designed to inspire confidence. Jo Boon, the founder of Label, has written a series of stories called The Glitter Pup & Little Unicorn to address issues of confidence at an early age. If you’d like more details, are a sucker for children’s illustrations (aren’t we all?). or want to see what the project is all about then head on over to Instagram: @glitterpuplittleunicorn

It will come as no surprise that body positivity is something I spend a lot of my time discussing with people. It’s sad, but true, to say that most people are uncomfortable with something about their physical appearance and this inhibits many of us, in both small and large ways. When looked at objectively, the levels of pressure we are all under to attain perfection are utterly ridiculous. None of us can achieve the standards set because we can’t live our lives in photoshop or project a permanent filter onto the world. Given this is the case – wouldn’t it be fantastic if we simply didn’t want to?

Having talked to people about body positivity and issues around feeling secure in their identity, it struck me how early these issues arise for many people. It came up time and time again that the root of these insecurities was in childhood, and the messages we receive early on in life. For a long time, the idea sat and was something I threw around with people… Until, eventually, The Glitter Pup & Little Unicorn were born.

I have written this children’s adventure series with gender neutral pronouns because I will never understand why we segregate children and teach them different messages. To me, it is only logical that we want all children to grow up to be both confident and empathetic (amongst many other things.) This was why I chose to have animals, the glitter puppy and little unicorn, as the main characters because children are used to projecting onto animals. The difference here (hopefully!) is that it is happening in a body positive way, designed to inspire confidence early.

These stories cover many subjects, from the traditional rebellion found throughout children’s literature to the central idea of sharing and playing together. However, they also carry subtle messages about not being frightened of children who look different/ with disabilities (get excited to meet Dom the rabbit folks!) and that worries around appearance are a serious waste of play time.

When I think back to my childhood, I was often frightened of those that appeared different - whether that was the very old, or the disabled. Sadly, that is not unusual, and I’m grateful to my parents for teaching me early that there was nothing to be frightened of. It may be natural to be frightened of the ‘other’ but it is something we need to overcome as early as possible. There is a worrying trope in children’s literature to associate the good with the beautiful, and the evil with the ugly. That is something I have tried to undermine as far as possible, to offer up an alternative way for little ones to see the world.

The first story will be released in November, followed by a Christmas special and they will be released monthly thereafter. I cannot wait to share these stories with you, so do keep an eye out for more details, and spread the word!