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A Princess Saves A Prince + A Giveaway

One of the moms I met this past year coined a phrase I love.  She says, “We do pink, but we don’t do princess.”  If you’ve read some of my other posts about princess culture in the United States (Click here or here to read them now.), then you’ll know that this other mom and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to exposing our daughters to the the princess thing.  While I’m on a mission to educate myself about the princess culture (I just pre-ordred Peggy Orenstein’s book Cinderella Ate My Daughter, which comes out later this month.), I’m also on a mission to find stories that reconstruct the notion of a princess.  Since my post about Every-Day Dress-Up was well-received, I decided to share another alternative princess story for those of you who are in the market for books like this.

Princess to the Rescue (Second Story Press, 2011) is written by Claudia Souza and illustrated by Christelle Ammirati.  This book empowers the princess in the story.  Instead of being rescued by a prince, the princess saves the prince from a warty ogress.  As a result, the princess is portrayed as a strong woman.  Therefore, I believe this book should be shared with young girls as a way to craft an alternative princess story (e.g., it can be used as a mentor text during a fairy tale unit in writing workshop).  By continuing to explore alternatives to traditional princess stories, we make it possible for girls to imagine princesses who are strong and capable, thereby empowering the characters they write about and themselves.

Here’s a peek at the first two page spreads from Princess to the Rescue:

"Second Story Press, distributed in the US by Orca Books"
"Second Story Press, distributed in the US by Orca Books"

Giveaway Information:

  • Thank you to Second Story Press for agreeing to sponsor a giveaway of one copy of Princess to the Rescue.

  • To win a copy of the book please leave a comment about this post, in the comments section of this post by Friday, February 3rd, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A random drawing will take place on Sunday, February 5th and the winner’s name will be announced in a blog post later that day.

  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address and have my contact at Second Story send the book out to you.  Please note: Your e-mail address will not be published online.

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Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

38 thoughts on “A Princess Saves A Prince + A Giveaway Leave a comment

  1. Love stories with strong female characters. I wonder about the princess saving the prince from a “warty ogress”. I hope that this book doesn’t break the princess stereotype at the expense of perpetuating the stereotype of ugly = evil. What say the people who have read the book? Am I worrying needlessly?

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  2. We used this story as a follow up to the Paper bag Princess by Robert Munsch. We wrote literary essays and one of our students wrote an essay using the theory, “The Paper bag Princess is not your typical fairy tale,” It was nice to show her this story to use as a mentor text to expand her thoughts and ideas.

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  3. I am currently using the book The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch to launch my literary essay unit. This would be a great companion book, that is also not a typical fairy tale.

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  4. I am teaching persuasive writing using a “fractured” version of Goldilocks, I love this approach to modelling mentor texts. Our performing arts teacher this year has scheduled “Once Upon a Mattress” which is loosely based on The Princess and The Pea. I am reading all versions of princess stories to the children in order to give them some perspectives on how they can interpret these characters for the play.I love these kinds of princesses who learn to be feisty and self dependent. Hopefully we can share one more version of story on princesses that young children can relate to!

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  5. Love alternative fairy tales! I came across another “princesses are awesome and powerful!” book called “Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?” that has lots of cute illustrations about how every girl can be a princess and still be themselves.

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  6. I did not know of “princess culture” and wonder if the low family income levels of my students determine just how much these girls can embrace it. Thanks for the awareness.
    Do think this book would be a fun compare and contrast with traditional stories.

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  7. I am in need of this book for 2 little girls in my room!!! It would be nice to read it to my class. Plus I am starting the Fairy Tale unit in our reading workshop….wouldn’t it be a cool compare and contrast???

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  8. What a find! Just today in workshop we were discussing ideas for making our own changes to favorite fairy tales. I know the boys will love this one too! Thanks for the great thinking and new mentor text.

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  9. Since we live outside of the U.S. many of my 2.5 year old’s outlooks differ from ‘typical’ kids back home. So far she is not into the princess thing. For this I am thankful, but I am not naive enough to think it will laugh indefinitely. Always happy to learn about ways to help bring balance.

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  10. On the same theme, Robert Munsch’s The Paperbag Princess is iconic for the prince being rescued by a princess. Not sure if it is available widely in the U.S. Munsch is a much loved Canadian author.

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  11. We need more books to empower girls! I have always loved the Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch after having received it as a gift for my daughter when she was little. I use it in my second grade classroom for its rich prose and laughability for both girls and boys! I look forward to reading these new feminist-ic princess books.

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  12. What an amazing perspective! My daughter is almost 2 and loves princesses because they wear pretty clothes. I love this twist to the reason of why princesses are so “cool.”

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  13. I have two boys but have watched how the princess culture effects my niece. As the only Aunt, I feel it’s my job to keep the tough, independent girl part of her strong. This sounds like the perfect story to share how princesses can be strong and leaders too. Great giveaway.

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  14. The princess culture seems to have become big business. AND at what expense? costumes, shoes, jewelry, gloves, etc. Not to mention self esteem. I had to explain to my granddaughter that it was really hard to use the potty in her ball gown and that princesses did not dress that way all the time. Sometimes they wear play clothes, or school clothes, and only wear their gowns for the ball. Also hard to play at the park on the playground in your fancy gown.

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  15. @Liz Hoffman: It’s funny that you mention the glitter and the money involved with the princess culture you witnessed at Disney during the NCTE Convention. I noticed it too and it made me nauseous. (Granted, I was 33 weeks pregnant during that convention, but when we went back this past fall with my daughter I had the same feeling so it couldn’t be a pregnancy thing.) In fact, I thought about including thoughts about exactly this in past princess related posts (the ones listed above), but each time I eradicated my thoughts because they were a little disconnected from the teaching message (and this is, after all, a blog about the teaching of writing). However, perhaps I need to say more about this. Especially since it appears I’m not alone in my thinking with regard to what we have witnessed.

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  16. As the mother of three daughters, I have always been keenly aware of the helpless princess culture – all fluff and no character. Thank goodness for a book that dispels this myth. My girls are now grown but my mission to change this image continues in the classroom. Thanks for bringing my attention to this new title.

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  17. There’s another really cute book, called Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella. In this version of the classic tale, the princess is a cowgirl with “gumption”. So cute. Similar message.

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  18. What a great book to use to have my writing students write a story from a different point of view. Such fun for middle schoolers!! Thank you for the suggestion.

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  19. Not a big fan of princesses either–although the granddaughters are. They do, however, go along with grandma’s “No Wussy Girls” rule. So while they love the dress-up clothes and bangles and beads, they fish with their dads, play basketball with their brothers and love t-ball. This will be a great book to share with them!

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  20. Some of my favorite strong heroine stories are by Robyn McKinley, The Hero and The Crown and The Blue Sword. I love the idea that you are going to keep sharing strong princess stories; this looks good too. My daughter has talked with all the moms & the teachers at her daughter’s pre-school about the princess stuff & they all agree to keep it away from their lives as much as possible, while looking for other models. This might be a good gift from me as a grandmother? Thanks, Stacey!

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  21. Big fan of books that re-imagine and re-cast some of the oppressive norms of our society. Two things to say on this particular topic:

    1) I didn’t go to Disney World as a kid, and I thought I was missing out. In some ways, perhaps I was. When I went for the first time for the Orlando NCTE National Convention and we were housed in Disney resorts, I was shocked to see so many little girls running around covered in makeup, glitter, princess dresses, tiaras… I didn’t know that was a thing people did, nor did I think many parents would pay as much as it costs (hundreds) to have that done. Eeks. VERY mixed feelings about taking my future children, despite my own childhood frustration that I never got to experience it.

    2) Have you read “And Tango Makes Three?” AWESOME (and adorable) children’s book challenging heteronormativity. It’s caused some uproar in some areas (got banned at a library in Iowa), and probably more controversial than the princess narrative re-writes, but an important one for any diverse classroom, I think. I read it with my high school kids, even.

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  22. I have a granddaughter who is into pink and the princess. Great book suggestions. Her favorite color though is blue–interesting combination. I would love to give her this book.

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  23. Thank you so much for this recommendation. I will order it today. I am so worried about my granddaughter who is thoroughly caught up in the “princess culture”. I have already ordered “Everyday Dress Up” and have started collecting books about strong women including “Girls to the Rescue” and “Paper Bag Princess”. I would love to have this book to read to her.

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