There are two new books in our home, a princess book from the library and a book about a prince from the used bookstore.
My Rules for Being a Pretty Princess by Heath McKenzie is a jubilant, fantastic, and short book about a young girl who wants to be a pretty princess more than anything else. At least, she wants to be one until a pretty princess comes along and shows her what’s expected of her. Her rewriting of the “rules” makes this a joyful read, as are the over-the-top faces she makes throughout the book. My son likes to have it read to him repeatedly, but only by his sister or myself. My Rules is dowsed in pink and glitter and carries a wonderful feminist message without a soapbox.
The Prince’s New Pet by Brian Anderson is visually contrary to the carefree drawings of McKenzie’s book. While the writing is a bit clunky, the pace of the dialogue lost me a few times, and the ending abrupt and in need of a more explanatory wrap up, it’s the art that drew me to this book. The art is part Tim Burton, part Jhonen Vasquez, with a hint of colorful Seuss. It tells the story of a prince living in a colorless kingdom. When his mother died, his father, the king, mourned her by robbing the country of color. But on the prince’s birthday, the fluffy, rainbow-colored Wooglepoof escapes its locked chest, and causes havoc. The best parts of this book are the ones where words have been abandoned and the art tells the story of the chase. Definitely worth a look, but you might want to do what I do, and wrap up the ending your own way, or else the final images don’t make a lick of sense to a small child.