When I was little, my parents gave me Clever Gretchen and Other Forgotten Folktales, a collection of traditional stories in which the girls are strong, independent, and clever. I highly recommend adding it to your children's library, but an artist's pretty works have made me realize that we could also just swap the genders in classic fairy tales once in awhile. Cinderfella, anyone?The work of Yudi Chen was recently featured on Design Taxi, and her prints are available through Society 6. I especially like Mr. Rapunzel's impressive beard, but they're all fantastic.
Would you ever read your kids Beauty and The Beast or Little Red Riding Hood with the characters' genders switched? It would take some serious concentration, but might be an interesting experiment.
Perhaps it would be easier to read them books in which girls and boys are both brave, smart, and fascinating, heroes and heroines, one and all. Some of my favorites include the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman, The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart, Wildwood by Colin Meloy, and of course the Harry Potter series. Team Hermione!
(Image: Cinderfella by Yudi Chen via Design Taxi)