Natalie Portman’s debut children’s book makes three classic tales ‘gender-safe’

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Natalie Portman’s debut children’s book makes three classic tales ‘gender-safe’

Israeli-American movie star rewrote three classic children’s stories — 'The Tortoise and the Hare', 'The Three Little Pigs' and 'Country Mouse and City Mouse'

Natalie Portman. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire
Natalie Portman. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

Actress, director and Academy Award winner Natalie Portman can add another title to her resume: children’s book author.

The Israeli-American movie star rewrote three classic children’s stories — “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Three Little Pigs” and “Country Mouse and City Mouse” — to be more “gender-safe,” in her words, with fewer male pronouns and more gender diversity.

She wrote about the thinking behind the project in a letter on the book’s website.

o, I’ve been reading the “regular” books to my daughter that I had previously read to my son, but I’ve been newly struck by the fact that nearly all the characters in these books are male — including the animals. I started noticing that when I pointed out animals in real life, I tended to use the pronoun he. “See the duck? What does he say?” “Oh look at the doggie! What’s his name?”… In response I started changing the pronouns in my daughter’s classic books.

Portman announced the book, titled “Natalie Portman’s Fables,” on Instagram on Tuesday. It goes on sale Oct. 20.

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