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Books for Little Princesses and Others

Little Princesses

Do you know a little girl or young lady who loves princesses? If you do, it would not be surprising. Research done by Professor Sarah M. Coyne at Brigham Young University found that 61% of the preschool girls in her June 2016 study played with princess toys at least once a week.

Teach Peace Now loves books as gifts for people of all ages. But before you rush out to buy the latest Disney Princess book, here are some things to consider.

  1. In the same study, Dr. Coyne found that playing with princess toys was associated with an increase in girls having negative stereotypes about being a girl such as needing to be rescued and lacking self-confidence.
  2. The longer the girls  played with the princess toys, the more negative became their body images. The skinny, mostly white and blonde princesses found in Disney movies and many story books reinforce the cultural ideal of beauty that can lead to eating disorders.
  3. In another research study, by linguists Carmen Fought and Karen Eisenhauer, the dialogue in Disney movies was analyzed. It was found that in many of the newer princess movies males spoke more than females. This was true, for example, in the Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, and Mulan.

So does that mean our little girls can't read books about princesses? Not at all. Here is a list of princess books we all can love.

For Young Readers

Dangerously Ever After by Dashka SlaterDangerously ever after princess book

This is book about a princess who laughs at danger and loves bugs and bicycles. She even knows what to do when her rose bushes grow noses instead of roses. Preschool and lower elementary

 

Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Camela LaVigna Coyne

Told in rhyme, this is the story of a little girl who asks her mother questions like can princesses wear boots, climb trees and do all the things a normal child would do. Preschool and lower elementary

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen

In this rhyming book, we meet all kinds of princesses who wear all the colors of the rainbow, sport socks that stink, and bat at baseballs wearing crowns. Preschool and lower elementary

Not Every Princess by Jeffery Bone

This poem, illustrated with pictures of girls doing all kinds of things, offers girls a range of choices as to what to be. Preschool and lower elementary

Paper Bag Princess by Robert MunschPaperbag Princess

In this classic fairy tale reversal, the dauntless princess uses her brain to save a very ungrateful prince from the dragon. Preschool and lower elementary

Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane Auch

When a group of princesses set out to win the hand of the prince, a feisty, out-of-work princess invents a new dish -- pizza. She then proceeds to spurn the prince and open her own pizzeria. Lower and intermediate elementary

princess gracePrincess Grace by Mary Hoffman

Every year two girls are selected to be princesses in the community parade. Grace, the heroine of Amazing Grace, asks her teacher what do princesses wear.  Her question leads to the discovery that princesses are found all over the world and do and wear many different things. For the parade, Grace decides to dress as Princess Amina of Nigeria and wear African kente cloth. Lower and intermediate elementary

Princess Knight by Osamu Tezuka

In this manga cartoon book modeled on Disney cartoons, and one of the first shojo works, only males can rule the kingdom. So the princess takes on the role of a boy with great delight and much bravery. Intermediate elementary and up.

Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeir

In case you were wondering what happened to all the princesses who were not perfect, you can find them in this book. Here you will find princess who forget, and princesses who dance too much and ones who chatter.  Lower and intermediate elementary

For Older Readers

Warrior Princess by Princess Kasune Zulu

This is the biography of Princess Kasune Zulu who grew up in poverty in Zambia, her parents dead from HIV. It tells the story of her early years raising her siblings on her own and then her later battle to stem the HIV epidemic in Africa.  High school, college and adult

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porathrejected princesses

Spanning history and the world, this 2016 release  presents a massive collection of women real and imaginary, including royals, who have shaken up the world. This the author says is a book for "any girl who ever felt she never fit in." Illustrated with colorful cartoons in a Disney-style, the stories are rated PG to R so that it can be shared at many levels. Middle school to adult.


What are some of your favorite princess books?

We welcome your thoughts and comments.

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Teach Peace Now
Teach Peace Now
We offer books, activities, lesson plans, and ideas that teachers, parents, and students can use to promote values, attitudes and behaviors which encourage non-violent resolution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding and tolerance.

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