|The problem with most “anti-princess” books is that they try too hard. Feisty little girls slay dragons; fairy princesses insist that their tutus won’t get in the way of their playing soccer. We have nothing against these efforts, exactly, only it often seems as though they protest too much.
Never fear: Stella is here and we’re in love. With a wiry red mop of hair and a matter-of fact confidence, Stella navigates the world of the sky, the beach and the forest with aplomb. Trailing her timid little brother, Sam, Stella reassures him that garden snakes are too small to swallow people; that yes, she has seen a shark, but only once and he wore an eye patch; and that touching a porcupine doesn’t hurt (though she’s not above running to dislodge a bee from her hair).
She knows that rocks grow big because a giant waters them daily, that yellow butterflies are yellow because they eat butter every day and that fireflies tickle when you catch them. When Sam wonders whether the moon wears pajamas, Stella can tell him. She knows that starfish are shooting stars that fell in love with the sea and learned to swim so they wouldn’t drown when they got down. Stella may have an answer for everything, but she never condescends to Sam, his fears, or his questions.
These are delicious books for boys as well as girls with illustrations that are whimsical without being sticky sweet.
We highly recommend the Stella series.
Check out Marie Louise Gay's Stella, Star of the Sea, Stella, Fairy of the Forest and Stella, Princess of the Sky in the Anti-Princess Reading List Section
of the Mommy Track'd Reading Room.