Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "William's Doll" by Charlotte Zolotow
William wanted a doll for simple reasons: to hug, take care of, and bring to the park. The males in his life had other ideas. His brother called this wish "creepy," and the boy next door called him a sissy. His father ignored his desire for a doll and gave him a basketball and train tracks instead. All of these things William enjoyed, yet he still longed for a doll with long lashes and a bonnet to take care of. He confided this wish to his grandmother, and she combatted some gender stereotypes for him.
Boys can be nurturing too, and living within the strict confines of sometimes arbitrary gender confines can be stifling. I was happy to find a book that features a boy's positive relationship with his doll.