You Can Be Campaign - Book Audit

About the You Can Be Campaign - Book Audit

We are inviting nurseries and early years settings to join our short campaign to bring more gender balance into children’s libraries. This would involve undertaking an audit of your early years book collections.

This activity is a part of our You Can Be Campaign which is aimed at tackling gender stereotyping in the early years by raising awareness of harmful gender stereotypes and offering tips and ideas on how to tackle them. The campaign aims to support parents, carers and childcare professionals to start conversations that will help all children to develop their full potential.

This project is supported by STV Children's Appeal.

How to take part?

1. Evaluate books in your early years library by using this guide.

2. Fill in this short feedback form by the 18th October 2021.

3. Send us some pictures of your audited books by emailing .


How many books do I need to audit to take part?

We would really appreciate if you evaluated all of your books or at least 100. However, you can still take part if your book collection is smaller than that.

When will I know if my nursery had won?

By submitting your audit results your nursery will be entered into a prize draw. We will notify the winners by email at the beginning of November . All settings who completed the audit will receive a bundle of amazing posters to promote equality and diversity.

Small print

You can conduct the book audit if you live anywhere in the world, but we can only distribute the book prizes to early years settings based in Scotland.

We won't be able to replace any books/posters lost in post.

Only one book/resource bundle per nursery.

Questions and more information

If you have any questions please email Jo Zawadzka Campaigns and Engagement Officer at

Why tackling gender stereotyping in the early years matter?

Gender inequality can have a profound impact on the mental and physical health of women and girls, and has been identified through international research as the underlying cause of violence against women.

Evidence shows that levels of violence against women are significantly and consistently higher in societies, communities and relationships where there are more rigid distinctions between the roles of men and women.

Parents and educators play a powerful role in shaping our understanding of gender norms, power and respect.

By challenging rigid gender stereotypes and instilling respect from an early age, parents and educators effectively become front-line workers in the work to end violence against women.

What are gender stereotypes?

Stereotypes are generalisations about a particular group that are applied to everyone in the group. Examples include: all girls like playing with dolls and all boys like playing with trucks.

Like all stereotypes, gender stereotypes are harmful because they enforce strict rules and expectations. Children learn by seeing and copying the world around them, and so rules and expectations about what girls and boys ‘can’ and ‘cannot’ do or ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be shape children’s understanding of the world and their own place within it.

Additional resources

Read our blog that inspired this campaign for World Book Day 'It's hard to be, what you can't see'.

Check out our You Can Be Campaign for more tips and ideas on how to give children the best start in life.

Watch this video to learn about the You Can Be Campaign.

Watch this video to learn about diversity in children's books.

Watch this video to see a different take on a well-known children's story.

Global Equality Collective Best Books

We teamed up with Global Equality Collective Best Books which offers an amazing selection of best books to tackle gender stereotyping. Click HERE to find out more.

Scottish Book Trust Resources

To find out how to create a book corner in your early years setting check this article by the Scottish Book Trust.

In this article by Scottish Book Trust you will find a list of picture books that challenge gender stereotypes.

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