Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Picture Book Thursday

Today's theme is Princesses! A very girly topic, but Allison and I both have girls so its fitting. :-) We'll start with Princess Sparkle by Nicola Baxter. This is a large-size board book, but the text is more that of a picture book. Each page has glittery metallic embellishments to accompany the story of Princess Sparkle who loves anything glittery and shiny: jewels, sequins, sparkly clothes. Everything in her castle sparkled. She left the castle one day for the first time (ever?!) and realized the world around her was dull and boring. She began to "sparkle" the world by throwing sapphires in the river to make it shine, diamonds on snowy trees, etc. until she had given all her jewels away. She was sad when she realized she was no longer Princess Sparkle until she realized she had made the world around her beautiful and so everything sparkled around her. Very cute book! And a nice book about sharing and being selfless. There are other books in this series as well: The Rainbow Fairy, The Snowflake Princess, and The Mermaid and the Star. These books can often be found as bargain books at Barnes & Noble.

Fancy Nancy has become one of my 5 year old's favorite characters. Nancy loves anything and everything fancy. She uses big words and explains what they are fancy for (example: extraordinary is a fancy for great). She loves to dress up in "fancy" outfits and loves anything French because if it's French, of course, it's fancy. In this first installment by Jane O'Connor, Nancy finds her family boring and offers them free lessons on how to be fancy. They go out to dinner all dressed up and unfortunately Nancy slips and spills their dessert all over the floor. They go home to get cleaned up and have ice cream sundaes. She realizes maybe sometimes its nice to not be so fancy. :-) There are four or five more books in the series so far. A couple of them are easy reader books if you have a beginning reader interested in Nancy. One of my favorite things about this series is that Nancy says oh-la-la and now my daughter is saying that which is highly amusing coming out of a little kid's mouth. If you're looking for a nice Christmas gift for a little girl, this book could be accompanied by a variety of Fancy Nancy toys, dress up outfits and games which I've seen at Target.

I have to admit I was not particularly excited by this book at first. But its grown on me. :-) Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann is about a little girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and wakes up with her skin turned pink. She goes to the doctor and is told to eat green food (complementary color use here) to go back to her normal skin tone. She ignores the doctor and eats more cupcakes until she pretty much turns red! At this point, she eats the green vegetables and fruit to turn back to normal. The only major gripe I have with this book is that they say green food is yucky. We have worked really hard to get our girls to eat healthy food (and still working on it) and I'm not that excited by a book telling them that healthy food is yucky. So I tend to gloss over those words and just say she needs to eat healthy green foods to get better. There is a sequel to this book called Purplicious. But I'm really NOT excited about that book. The basic premise of the story is that the little girl's favorite color is pink until her friends tell her its not cool to like pink anymore. In the end she finds another girl who likes blue and somehow she ends up mixing the colors and purple becomes her favorite color. I just don't like teaching my young daughter to listen when someone tells her something she really likes is uncool. Ella was very concerned about why the little girl couldn't like pink anymore. And why her friend didn't like pink, which incidentally, is Ella's favorite color. :-)

I realize these books are not all about actual princesses. But the girls in them like to dress up like princesses and they are all VERY girly. The last book I just want to mention. I came across it in a search and while I haven't read it, it sounds interesting to me. Don't Kiss the Frog by Fiona Waters contains six "princess stories with attitude". Here is the blurb for this book from the B&N website:
There’s a new crop of princesses in town, and these girls don’t wait for a prince to come to the rescue. Whether it’s slaying dragons or having less grace and more good sense, the heroines in these six stories put unexpected spice into traditional fairy-tale conventions. With sassy artwork and typography to match, this book is THE read-aloud or read-alone for any girl who likes her “happily ever after” with a twist.

Doesn't that sound fun! I really want to check this book out! I'll have to keep my eyes out for it. If you have read it, I would love to hear what you thought!

Next week's installment will be a little different. We'll be focusing on one book because we've been asked to be a stop on a virtual tour for it! Next week we'll be featuring Amadi's Snowman by Katia Novet Saint-Lot.

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Lilah loves this book, even if it's not one of my favorites. Each page features a different Disney Princess telling the story of the "jewels" on her page. The text is just okay, but what makes this a Lilah favorite are the inset plastic "gems" or gold foil to sparkle up the story.

Lilah has really enjoyed the Karen Katz lift-the-flap books, and this non-flap book has the same style illustrations. A little girl complains that her parents never call her by her "real name," instead showering her with nicknames. On the last page, she reveals her real name, Princess Baby, while wearing a cape, crown, and scepter. It's a cute little story and Lilah loves Katz's illustrations.

1 comment:

Charley said...

For a little anti-princess princess, I also love The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.