Review Policy

Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review: My Princess Boy


Author: Cheryl Kilodavis
Illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone
Book Website: www.myprincessboy.com
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: This little boy loves the color pink, and Sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses, and sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara crown, even when climbing trees. He's a Princess Boy, and his family loves him exactly the way he is. Inspired by her son, and by her own struggles to initially understand, this is one mother's story about unconditional love, and one remarkable family. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I applaud author and mother Cheryl Kilodavis for writing such an important and beautiful book. Kids learn stereotypes at a very young age. When we put someone in a stereotypical role, out the door goes acceptance and understanding and in comes judgment and division. 

My Princess Boy is an encouraging story that helps kids to not take part in stereotyping behavior. One of the important parts of this book is when the put-downs and teasing happen. It's very hurtful.  Right away students said, "That is not okay to bully him!"  

The author writes:
If you see a Princess Boy...
Will you laugh at him?
Will you call him a name?
Will you play with him?
Will you like him for who he is?

WOW. Powerful. I didn't even have to create discussion questions. They are right there in the pages. I'm so thankful I am able to use literature like this to break down stereotypes. Lets connect kids now at a young age so they don't have to experience pain or hurt each other as they grow up. It doesn't matter if boys like pink, if girls play with trucks, or if boys want to play with dolls. All that matters is that we are loved, respected, and accepted for who we are inside and out. 

Other Children's Books Breaking Down Gender Role Stereotypes:

William's Doll
Author: Charlotte Zolotow

More than anything, William wants a doll. "Don't be a creep," says his brother. "Sissy, sissy," chants the boy next door. Then one day someone really understands William's wish, and makes it easy for others to understand, too. 




Oliver Button Is a Sissy 
Author: Tomie dePaula
A little boy must come to terms with being teased and ostracized because he'd rather read books, paint pictures, and tap-dance than participate in sports.
 


Amazing Grace (Reading Rainbow Books)
Author: Mary Hoffman
Grace loves to act out stories. She eventually overcomes restrictions of gender and race to play the part of her dreams, Peter Pan, in the school play. 



The Story of Ferdinand (Reading Railroad Books)Author: Munro Leaf
All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. So what will happen when our pacifist hero is picked for the bullfights in Madrid? 


Ira Sleeps Over
Author: Bernard Waber
When Ira is invited to sleep over at Reggie's house, he must decide whether to take his beloved teddy bear. In the end, he learns that it is acceptable for boys to have teddy bears. 


When I Grow Up (Little Critter) (Look-Look)
Author: Mercer Mayer
Little Critter’s sister dreams about all the wonderful things she’s going to do when she grows up. She imagines being a great ballet dancer, a world-famous doctor, a race-car driver, and more! 



Author: Todd Parr
It's okay to need some help. It's okay to be a different color. It's okay to talk about your feelings. It's okay to make a wish... It's Okay to Be Different.


Pinky And Rex And The Bully (Ready-To-Read Level 3)
Author: James Howe
Pinky's favorite color is pink, and his best friend, Rex, is a girl. Kevin, the third-grade bully, says that makes Pinky a sissy. Deep down, Pinky thinks Kevin is wrong, but he's still worried. Does Pinky have to give up his favorite things, and worse, does he have to give up his best friend? 


Best Friends for Frances (I Can Read Book 2)
Author: Russell Hoban

Frances doesn't think her little sister, Gloria, can be her friend. But when Frances's friend Albert has a no-girls baseball game, Frances shows him a thing or two about friendship—and a thing or two about what girls can do. Along the way, Frances discovers that sisters can indeed be friends . . . maybe even best friends.

Players In Pigtails (Scholastic Bookshelf)
Author: Shana Corey
In a delightful tribute to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League created during World War II - this story focuses on Katie Casey, who preferred "sliding to sewing" and "batting to baking" and is a "baseball-mad" girl! Determined Katie makes it all the way to the big leagues and finds a sisterhood of friends and players. 

Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt
Author: Lisa Campbell Ernst
When Sam Johnson inadvertently discovers how much fun sewing can be, he tries to join the Rosedale Women's Quilting Club. "Don't be silly," the club president says. "We can't have a man here bungling everything!" But Sam Johnson won't take no for an answer. 
Author: James Howe
Horace, Morris, and Dolores have been best friends forever. They do everything together -- from sailing the seven sewers to climbing Mount Ever-Rust. But one day Horace and Morris join the Mega-Mice (no girls allowed), and Dolores joins the Cheese Puffs (no boys allowed). Is this the end? Or will Horace and Morris but mostly Dolores find a way to save the day -- and their friendship? 

If you have book suggestions, please put the title in the comments section below. Thanks! 

5 comments:

  1. I have a five year old girl. And I am constantly searching for books which speak about love and acceptance. I love your choice my Princess Boy. I think it is amazing and is on the top of my list of books to purchase! Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Thanks for the review :)

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  3. This book, Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann, is about discovering one's individuality.

    Love your blog!

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  4. We also read, The Only Boy in Ballet Class. Our discussions usually tend toward gender stereotypes and also trying new things. It shows how everyone has skills to be used.

    Thanks for adding more diversity books to help break down the gender stereotypes.

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