Book Guide: Unfair!
What is fair?
Unfair! is a small book, about big feelings. Sometimes one is too big to do certain things and sometimes one is too small.
A picture book with high recognition among both children and adults that creates conversations about age and what is fair and what is unfair.
Questions of injustice and jealousy
In the book, Lillskrot gets to ride a wagon. But Storskrot has to go. Why do you think that is so? Storskrot thinks it's unfair. Why do you think he thinks so?
In the book, Lillskrot has to go to bed. But Storskrot can stay up and cozy up on the sofa. Why do you think that is so? Lillskrot thinks it's unfair. Why do you think he thinks so?
What do you think is unfair? What do you usually do when you think something is unfair?
Both Lillskrot and Storskrot become jealous of each other. What does it mean to be jealous? Have you ever been jealous? What did you do?
Questions about being picked up, cuddling and sleeping
At the beginning of the book, it is the father who picks up Lillskrot and Storskrot from the preschool. Who usually picks you up? Is it usually different people? Do you enjoy being picked up?
In the evening, first dad snuggles with Lillskrot on the couch, then mom snuggles with Storskrot. Do you like to snuggle? What do you like to do then?
When it's time to sleep, it's dad who puts Lillskrot. Who usually sleeps with you? What do you like to do when you go to sleep? What do not you like?
Norms about parents
In children's books, fathers tend to be mischievous and mothers are nurturing. In this book, the parents take turns in their responsibility and care-giving. They both pick up and drop off, talk and snuggle. Children need role models in books that show that fathers and mothers, and other adults, have broader roles than the classic gender roles. The statistics indicate that mothers are on parental leave, babysit and, to a greater extent, work part-time.
But we think it is better (for everyone involved) if both men and women are allowed to care for children, and we also know that there are a lot of present and caring fathers who need to be reflected in children's literature. Through the children's book, children can have more role models and opportunities if they were to become parents themselves one day.
Not to sex children
Neither Storskrot nor Lillskrot has a clearly defined gender. Instead of being gendered, they are referred to by their names and they are not described as the girls, big sister, little sister or the guy, little brother and big brother. By naming children instead of gendering them, it becomes possible for all children to reflect in their sibling relationship and their feelings in the face of injustice. If the question of gender comes up, you as an educator can ask what it is that makes the child wonder, how the child thinks about whether Storskrot and Lillskrot is a female, hen or male and what things they use as clues to find this out. What more words can you think of that are not gendered? For example, compare little sister with little sibling. We can also talk about the fact that it is not so important if we are girls or boys and that we decide for ourselves who we want to be and that gender identity, how we feel and want to express ourselves is something that can change during life.