Not Every Princess

Not Every Princess9781433816482_p0_v1_s260x420Not Every Princess

Jeffrey Bone and Lisa Bone, Authors

Valeria Docampo, Illustrator

Magination Press, Fiction, May 1, 2014

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Encouraging kids to imagine and pursue dreams, Gender roles, Stereotypes, Individuality

Opening: “Not every princess lives in a castle. Not every fairy has wings. Not every pirate sails a ship.”

Book Jacket Synopsis: Who do you want to be: a princess? Pirate? Teacher or scientist? And where would you like to play: a castle? Pirate ship? Library or spacelab? It’s  your decision to make, so think away. Your imagination and thoughts can create pictures and scenes, the most beautiful, amazing picturesque dreams!

Why I like this book: Jeffrey and Lisa Bone encourage children to think outside of the box, use their imaginations  and envision lives for themselves beyond stereotypical gender roles and expectations. The rhyming text is purposely simple and shows ways children can be princesses, pirates, ballerinas, superheroes, knights and mermaids in fun and less traditional and stereotypical ways.  For example, “Not every Princess lives in a castle,” shows a girl wearing a viking helmet and perched high in a tree house.  “Not every pirate sails ships,” shows a boy with a patch over his eye and a bandanna around his head clinging to  a kite tail and sailing among the birds. Valeria Docampo’s colorful illustrations are whimsical, magical and playful. Her artwork complements the story so the book is a fun read and doesn’t come across as a resource.

Resources: There is a Note to Parents and Caregivers filled with useful advice and strategies to help children imagine that they can be engineers, pilots, football/basketball/baseball players, dancers, doctors, and scientists no matter whether they are male or female. The authors, who are both psychologists, suggest some very creative activities to use with children.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

39 thoughts on “Not Every Princess

  1. I love the sound of this, Pat. It is a broader version of Sudipta’s pirate girl book which Hannah loves!

    • Children will enjoy the book — parents will enjoy the backpages about how to encourage their childrens to imagine and that there options are limitless. Girls can be engineers and boys can be nurses.

    • As I was posting my review last night, I thought about you and thought about sending you an e-mail. This is such a lovely poetic journey for kids that if very affirming. After all, they are kids. I remember building airplanes out of logs, playing cops and robbers all day long with the neighborhood kids, and playing with dolls. They need to imagine. Thanks for the book recommendation. It looks like a good book!

      You may want to check out the book I reviewed on Tuesday, STELLA BY STARLIGHT, base on a true story of Sharon Draper’s grandmother. Also reviewed some other books you’d like.

  2. Hello Patricia, this sounds a wonderful book for encouraging children to dream about their future! We live a very dramatic situation in Paris. Do you know some books that could help children to get over what we are living in these days? Something that helps them to understand? Something that helps them to get over, to think about a better future? It’s very difficult for parents and teachers to handle the situation. You can answer me at my email address if you prefer. You find it on my website.

    • Glad you enjoyed the story! As far as recommending books, Magination Press has two books: “Visiting Feelings”and “Healing Days” (trauma), which would be helpful. There is also a new book I reviewed, “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm” by LeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo (Reading Rainbow) which deals with tragedy and how Rhino swallowed his feelings. And Patricia MacLachlan wrote a lovely book called “Snowflakes Fall,” about the cycles of life and the celebration of life and hope, which is dedicated to the children and teachers who died in the Sandyhook shooting. You can type in the names of the books on my blog and pull them up, to see if they are what you’re looking for. Hope that gives you a start. Know that my thoughts are with you!

      • Thank you Patricia! Children here react in very different ways: some just want to remove it and some want to know everything about what happened but it’s difficult to calm their fear and/or anger. I will check the books: they can speak better than us!

      • I know there may be more out there, but at least this is a start for you. You can probably download them onto an ipad or reader. Wish I could reach across the Atlantic and hand you the books. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, so it was a much quieter time. I remember the Bay of Pigs and the fear the instilled in me when we had to practice ducking under our desks. It was scary. With the nonstop media coverage, I can only imagine how hard it is for children today! Good luck and let me know if you find other books. I’ll keep looking.

  3. This looks great! It is interesting reading gender-specific picture books to my son — it has made me value books that don’t bend to stereotypes all the more. I really don’t want my son growing up thinking that “only boys do such and such or only girls do such and such.” The more flexibility I can encourage, the better. We just read, The Princess Knight last night and loved it! I will be checking out Not Every Princess pronto! Thank you for the great recommendation! It looks fantastic!

    • You’re the second person who has mentioned “Princess Knight.” I’m going to have check out that one! Glad you’re introducing your son to a variety of books. I hope more parents follow your lead! Thank you for the tweet.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my review. Several people said it reminded them of The Pirate Princess and the Princess Knight. Good to have books that encourage kids to play and not bother with stereotypes.

  4. This sounds like a super one – I especially appreciate you describing the illustrations, as I had a completely different picture in my mind. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  5. My daughter has never gone through much of a princess phase, luckily, but I think it is so important to emphasize to girls that THEY can define what a ‘princess’ is. This book looks like it would help very much with that!

  6. I am working on a new series of African stories at the moment where a girl wants to do something unimaginable in an African village. Even in this day and age, girls are restricted and labeled by stereotypes. We have to be careful about how we encourage them to break free ~ an important and delicate theme.

    • I’m interested in the series you’re writing. Sounds like a delicate theme. I know that in third world countries girls are labeled and restricted just because they are girls. Our niece has built a school, library, science (STEM) building and dorms for girls in Kitenga, Tanzania. It’s to finally open and she’s shared so many stories about the restrictions.

  7. Pingback: Not every princess by Jeffrey Bone | Top 100 Children's Books

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