Determined to encourage Mia to be a confident, unique and decidedly “un-princessy” girl I did everything I could to prevent the inevitable. I made sure there wasn’t a stitch of pink in her nursery, I steered clear of pink clothes and wouldn’t let her wear anything with the word princess on it. Lo and behold around 18 months she became obsessed with tutus and crowns and all my passive aggressive “un-princessing” went right out the window. We decided to let her run with it, and for the past few years we have had a fabulously imaginative, pincessy household that will forever be covered in glitter from her of costumes. However, we have one caveat, we want to make sure she will never be the damsel in distress that so many of the old fairy tales convey. We want her to grow to be a princess of today, and there are so many wonderful children’s books that will quench every little princesses’ fairy tale fantasy, but not make us parents cringe at the thought of another damsel waiting for a knight in shining armour to come to the rescue:
1. Do Princesses Make Happy Campers, by Carmela LeVigna Coyle. Through rain and sunshine, fairy houses and fishing, this happy camper discovers that lots of fresh air and looking on the bright side are all a girl needs to make her a princess. We are big fans of Carmela LeVigna Coyle’s books about a little girl and her desire to be a princess that loves to hike, ride her bike, swing from trees and even have bad days. Check out: Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?, Do Princesses Scrape their Knees?, Do Princesses Have Best Friends Forever?, and Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs?
2. Don’t Kiss The Frog, by Fiona Waters is a darling collection of princess stories with attitude, featuring tales of many young sleepy, sporty, clumsy, brave, resourceful and curious princesses.
3. Lovabye Dragon, by Barbara Joosse is an endearing story about a dragon who follows a young princess’s trail of tears, and the unlikely friendship between the two that ensues.
4. Part-time Princess, by Deborah Underwood. We love this tale of a young girl who enters a magical kingdom after she falls asleep each night. In her fairy tale dreams she is a brave princess whose days are filled with putting out fires, fighting dragons and dancing with trolls at the ball.
5. Not All Princesses Dress In Pink, by Jane Yole. Jane Yole’s fabulous book shows that girls can jump in mud puddles and climb trees, play sports and make messes—all while wearing their tiaras!
6. My Name Is Not Isabella, by Jennifer Fosberry. So this isn’t a book about princesses, but we still love this tale about a little girl’s wild imagination and how she pretends to be various women in history throughout the course of a day. A nice little bonus is the short summary and photo of each historical woman in the appendix so that your child can discover more about these amazing women…including their own mom! If you enjoy this book, you can also check out Jennifer Fosberry’s others: Isabella: Girl on the Go, My Name Is Not Alexandar, Isabella: Star of the Story.
7. Rad American Women A-Z, by Kate Schatz is a twist on your typical alphabet book. For each letter, Kate Schutz features an influential American woman who helped shaped where we live. The book features, musicians, actresses, athletes and much more! We also loved learning about many of these women ourselves!
8. The Paper Bag Princess, by Robert Munsch. This “not so typical” princess book has been around for decades, but we still love the story and just had to include it! When a dragon destroys her castle and all her belongings, then snatches her fiancé, this princess dons a paper bag and runs off to rescue her prince charming. This resourceful princess, outsmarts the dragon and rescues her prince.
9. Sleeping Cinderella And Other Princess Mix-ups, by Stephanie Clarkson. We love this silly tale about four classic princesses switching places, yearning for a different life. But when they find out their new life isn’t all they’d hoped, they decide to switch back. Instead of going back to the way their lives were before they make a few changes so they can create their own new happily ever after.