She Wants To Be A Dragon Slayer.
Like many parents, shortly after my daughter was born I bought and received the typical kid’s books. Now, don’t get me wrong each and every book I read to my daughter no matter what the topic was well worth the read. But after countless stories about prissy little princesses I was sick and tired of reading about girls who only cared about being pretty in pink. I had a hunch I wasn’t the only mom who thought so. I knew I wasn’t alone when I stumbled across the anti-princess list on mommytrackd.com. Hmm, at first I thought, “Sounds hardcore.” But is it? Nope. It’s just honest. Not a preachy author in the bunch. Thoughtful books that celebrate our little girl tots and teens in all their glory: the good, the bad and the ugly. To my surprise there weren’t just one or two books staring spunky girls but a whole slew of clever books just waiting to be discovered by a kid with sticky fingers. So far sixty-seven books on the list and counting. While some of the books are proudly on display at your local bookstore others are best ordered on-line. Now, a word to those who take everything literally: before you jump to any conclusions and send me a letter accusing me of a princess prejudice let me save you from yourself. I have nothing against princesses, tutus, or anything else girly girl. It’s just that there is more to a girl’s life than that and I want to make sure my daughter knows it.
I plan to add each and every book on the list to my daughter’s growing library. Natalia is not even two yet and according to the nanny’s latest count she has precisely 163f books. I’m not kidding. This kid is a bookworm on steroids. I was just as book-crazy at that age but back then my book collection was limited to Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Sleeping Beauty. If it weren’t for Nancy Drew and her latest adventure I might’ve grown up thinking that Walt Disney was in charge of my destiny. Thank goodness my daughter will grow up reading about the hopes, dreams and messes of little girls just like her: Grace For President, Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa , and Princess Pigsty just to name a few. Now, I admit that my toddler doesn’t yet know the difference between a princess and a pirate but when she is old enough to decipher between the two she can read about either one. And if she shows a preference for princesses, so be it. But I confess, I am rooting for the pirate.
These books not only squash stereotypes but open up a whole new world to our kids. And let’s face it the more they know about life now they better off they’ll be when they fly the coop later on. While any book is better than none remember that no matter how much we want to believe in fairy tales: princesses don’t usually live happily every after, the glass slipper doesn’t fit like a Jimmy Choo, and prince charming rarely saves the day. So why not take a chance and introduce your kid to real-life lessons: a third-grader who spends more time in the principal’s office than the classroom (Clementine), a girl who prefers blue to pink (In a Blue Room), or a tween who tackles her parent’s divorce with the help of her dog (Fred Stays With Me)? I sure wish I knew these girls when I was a kid. Thankfully my daughter will.
Tracy Evans is a long-time television producer whose work has appeared on the Travel Channel, FOX, Court TV, Lifetime to name a few. She is currently editing a television script but wishes she were sipping a margarita out by the pool. When she isn’t producing television shows, writing for magazines, or dreaming her life away she is busy chasing 19-month-old Natalia around the house, negotiating parenting chores with her husband (okay, telling him what to do) and trying to stay cool down in steamy Miami.