Monday, March 22, 2010

The Problem with Princesses

I am looking for some "princess" book recommendations. Kal-El is interested in castles, knights in "charming" armor, dragons and the like right now. He wants to read about "princesses" this week. He doesn't know what a "Disney Princess" is and I'd like to keep it that way. He is mostly interested in what a princess is, how they become one, and what they do as they relate to the whole knights/dragons/castles combo. I've searched Amazon and there are, of course, 6000+ children's books about princesses. Is anybody familiar with something that is appropriate for a 4 year-old? I am finding that it is also difficult to find books in this category that don't model sassy language.

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  1. You might be able to find a historical children book about Princess Elizabeth or Mary, which obviously wouldn't contain dragons, but would satisfy the other requirements. :)

    It might be too old for him, but I know there is a "Princesses Around the World" series. Something like this:

  2. Also, although it is more about knights and dragons than princesses, "Jane and the Dragon" is excellent.

  3. Montessori Matters just posted about princesses. There is a downloadable PDF...

  4. It would be nice to study a real live princess. I wonder if any of them have picture biographies. The only book I recommend is The Paper Bag Princess but it might be appropriate for older kids.

  5. Have you looked through the Usborne catalog? They have a whole bunch of princess books for a variety of interest levels, etc.

  6. The Artful Parent recently publisehd a blog post about Princesses. There are many comments in response to this post recommending books that portray Princesses as strong and smart. The link to the post is:

  7. Only one I can think of offhand is Paper Bag Princess. I'll have to see if I can think of any others.

  8. Elise,

    I totally read that blog, it's one of my favorites. I don't know how I missed that post. You are right, the comments are very useful.

    Shannon, I LOVE Jane and the Dragon! I have sometimes watched that on TV (the boys don't really watch TV). I had no idea it was a book. I put it on reserve at the library to look into it.

    Ticia, Joyful Learner,

    Thank you for the paper bag princess rec. It is mentioned several times in the Artful Parent comments. I look forward to reading it :)


    Thanks for the suggestion. I love Usborne books and will check out that link!

    P.S. Montessori,

    Thank you! I read that blog and did think of that post. I downloaded the cards and am saving them for future use. Those are a little above him yet. Plus, I have misgivings about going into too much detail about monarchies before I've taught him about constitutional democracy. That's holding me back on the "princesses around the world" series that Shannon recommended.

    Yikes. Who would have thought I would have to get into all this with two boys?