A little girl learns from a “real” pretty princess about rigid, downright icky, expectations for those who would be pretty princesses.
A brown-haired, pink-skinned, cartoonlike moppet, dressed in striped socks, denim skirt and ski sweater, is standing on one foot daydreaming: “More than anything else in the whole wide world, I wanna be a pretty princess!” Enter a smiling lady, also brown-haired and pink-skinned, whose ice-blue ball gown is exactly matched by her long gloves and tiara. She remakes the little girl into a pretty princess by lacing her into an extremely tight dress, forbidding her to get dirty, fussing with her hair, applying makeup, forbidding her to eat at the grand tea party (“Uh-uh-uh, stuffing one’s face is hardly princessly behavior”), and making her dance in a staid, boring manner—called “graceful” by the princess. The climax arrives after the beleaguered child and the pretty princess have waited almost interminably for their respective handsome princes; being forced to interact with her prince is the final disillusionment. The humorous pictures are matched by text in pink cartoon bubbles for the girl, lavender bubbles for the princess. The final pages do an excellent job of illustrating the little one’s liberation from status quo princess-dom, both in art and in the girl’s words of black and scrawled red.
Funny and pointed; a fast, enjoyable read for both the youngest, would-be princesses and their male counterparts. (Picture book. 3-6)