Saturday, February 25, 2017

I am NOT a Princess by Bethany Burt

I am NOT a Princess!
by Bethany Burt
Illustrated by Brenda McCallum
Schiffer Publishing

Play-acting and self-identity are the themes of this charmingly illustrated book about a girl who dreams of being a beautiful princess. What s not to love? Princesses get to wear fancy dresses and beautiful jewels. They live happily ever after with the prince of their dreams in a splendid castle in the countryside. Plus, they are never burdened with boring chores or unpleasant activities. Their only real job is looking pretty. But when Eliza, dressed in full princess fashion, tries to join in on the fun in her household and neighborhood, she is disappointed to discover that being a princess prevents her from doing many of the things she loves. She can t ride a bike, play baseball, help her father paint, or bake cookies with her mom. See what happens as her frustration builds. This glimpse inside a little girl's head helps preschoolers put their fantasies in perspective. For ages 0-6.


Pretty, pink, frilly princess dreams come to life as a little girl twirls her way through the day in a fun role play.

Eliza is going to be a princess with her prettiest dress and fanciest gems. It's fun at first, but soon family and friends are offering her other play possibilities--things which are fun but not very princessy. Eliza needs to decide what to do.

This is a pink, princess book as little girls so often love. Eliza is a normal girl, who loves to pretend as so many girls that age do. She's got very specific ideas of what princesses can or cannot do, and as she turns down one fun opportunity after the other, the problem with Eliza's definition is something the intended audience can easily recognize. 

The illustrations are pink and pretty--perfect for young girls and fitting to the story. There's a cute green frog and a cuddly bear, which accompany Eliza during her imaginary game. These extra characters give readers something to look out for and add a lovely touch of humor to the story.

The text is appropriate for listeners ages 3 and up. It gets right to the point and gives a nice flow as a read-aloud. There's enough change of scene to keep the pictures interesting, and it's no problem to flip through and imagine the story even without the written/read words.

Mixed in with all of the royal play are a few messages young readers/listeners can understand. By sticking only to her own way of doing things, Eliza misses out on more and more fun opportunities. She also learns that her definitions and perceptions aren't quite as solid as she thought. Sometimes, it's better to let go of stubborn self-made ideas and simply enjoy what others want to do too.

Summed up, this is a cute picture book princess fans are sure to love and are sure to have them chasing their own princess roll plays. . .and maybe do all the fun things even though they are a princess.

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