A young narrator insists that her book will never include princesses—right up until the moment that a princess shows up.
Lita, a white redhead, is tired of princess books, and she directly addresses readers in her enthusiasm for a book of her own that will be full of the outdoors and animals and absolutely, positively no princesses. To Lita’s dismay, however, a frilly pink princess of color with tightly curled black hair named Lilliana Ariana de Darlingsweet-Amazingface (or LaDeeDa) just can’t take the hint. She insists that everyone loves princesses and, at every turn of the page, doggedly persists in adding herself and her aesthetic to Lita’s story. Lendler has crafted frenetic dialogue and charismatic protagonists that bring a page-turn–inspiring energy to the story—or rather the story that happens when another story is interrupted. Unfortunately, and despite Zemke’s delightfully dynamic and playful illustrations, the narrative doesn’t quite hit its mark, even as the stubborn pair of protagonists discovers their commonalities. While the narrative attempts to dismantle the false dichotomy between those who like all things princess and those who like all things adventure, it ultimately ends up implicitly reinforcing the idea not only that princesses and their overalls-loving counterparts are mutually exclusive, but that they are the only types of girlhood available.
Fun but limiting. (Picture book. 4-8)