Princess and the… no

When Liv was born, there were only a handful of things that I really wanted for her. Of course, I wanted her to be healthy, feel safe, and grow up surrounded by love. I wanted her to become a compassionate, kind, polite, and confident individual. And I wanted her to love books (ok, and Broadway musicals). That’s not too much to ask, right?

So, needless to say, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that she LOVES to read. I’ve always loved to read, and since I could read on my own, I’ve enjoyed reading as much as possible. I remember a trip to the lake when I was 7, and I spent the entire week reading. At the time, I thought it was the best vacation ever because I got to read ALLTHETIME without the interruptions of school or chores. Since Tom and I started talking about growing our family, I’ll admit that I had daydreams about all of the fun things that we’d eventually do together, including reading together as a family.

Reading bedtime stories to Liv at the end of the day is one of my very favorite things. We’ll snuggle up together, and she’ll ask for 3-4 books, and he or I will read. Sometimes I’ll make really bad funny voices, sometimes I read it in my normal mouse voice, and I love to look over to her face, watching and listening intently. After we turn out the lights, I can see her on the baby monitor, with her Puppy flashlight, “reading” to herself.

Some of Liv’s favorites:

-Shel Silverstein (especially “The Giving Tree” and “Giraffe and a Half”)

-ANY Pinkalicious book (her very favorite)

-the Olivia books

-Eric Carle (especially “Papa,  Please Get the Moon for Me” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”)

-Old Little Golden books, from my mom’s collection. I love reading these, too, as the illustrations are beautiful and the stories are timeless. Maria brings in the onion-cutting ninja every time. 

The “Please and Thank You” book

-Any of the Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer

-Franklin books

With all of the amazing books we read together, there are some ridiculous ones in the mix.

Example #1: Princess and the Pea. WTFFFF. I got this for her, vaguely remembering it from my youth, and basically it’s about a prince searching for a real princess. A girl knocks on the castle doors, claims to be a princess, and the Queen puts a single pea under 20 mattresses and 20 featherbeds. The princess awakens, complains about all of her bruises and the fact that she tossed and turned because “good heavens knows what’s under that mattress!” and everyone is delighted because she must be a true princess. Only a real princess is that delicate! This is where I smack my face with the book. Tom and I spent a good amount of time explaining to Liv that a REAL princess would not have complained, and would have thanked the queen and king for their hospitality and giving her a safe place to sleep. Ughhh.

Another example:

Book of princess stories. We got this for Liv, because she’s a big fan of Disney and all things princess-related. The stories are all pretty bland (“Merida’s mother is the queen. The queen wants Merida to marry the son of a lord. Merida says no. Merida is mad.”) and one of the stories is about the princesses getting ready for their perfect date with the prince. They must have the perfect dress and look perfect!! I don’t think my three year old needs to think about attire for the “perfect date.” I started to read it to her, changed the words, and was rolling my eyes the entire time. 

Of course, I don’t take these things too seriously (I think we live in a culture where people are constantly looking to be offended). I’m just happy to be able to see and learn about the things she loves, which will evolve as she gets older. It’s pretty amazing, and a huge blessing, to watch someone grow up. 

As far as the books go, I like to read stories that have a good message (instead of indicating it’s ok to complain about your sleeping arrangements, or need the perfect ball gown for your date, haha). Do you have any favorites to share? If you have kiddos, what are their current favorite stories? Have you ever had to change the words?? 🙂


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  1. Ashley on January 29, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Oh my gosh, yes. My 2 year old has one of those books that’s a big hardcover one with 5-6 stories inside? It’s not Dr. Suess, but looks like it. Anyways, one is about this animal that keeps changing himself, and at the end decides he likes who he is so changes back. But once when he changes to a bigger animal his friends call him fat and say they don’t like him fat. WTF?! No! I definitely change those words. And anytime it has something that “boys” or “girls” like to do, I change it to “kids” so she doesn’t think this early on that she can or can’t do things because she’s a girl.

  2. Barb on January 29, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Too funny, I am a children’s librarian, and we were just talking about The Giving Tree and how people either love or hate it!
    My newest favorite is The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak…the premise being that the adult has to say whatever the book has written, and as you can imagine it gets very silly. I have read it aloud to a little bit older group of kids..1st-4th, and they were all hysterical over it.
    My other new favorite is called Rufus Goes to School, and adorable book about a pig whose one desire is to go to school…it is adorable 🙂

  3. Kelly on January 29, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Check out the Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch where the princess rescues the prince! It’s one of my and my daughters’ faves. 🙂

    • Amy on January 29, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Yes! I was just about to recommend this one. It was my favorite as a kid, and it totally holds up. A must-read for young girls.

  4. Tracy on January 29, 2015 at 10:16 am

    This was an all time favorite of all 4 of my kids:

    I highly recommend if you can find a copy! It looks like it must be out of print 🙁

  5. Colette M. on January 29, 2015 at 11:24 am

    As a mother of 3 girls (ages 10, 8, and 6) I feel your pain! I follow this website and they seem to have a lot of good ideas, resources, and book lists!

  6. Jessica on January 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Have you ever heard of “Giraffes Can’t Dance”? We read it to our 11 month old and it is MY FAVORITE book she has. It’s about a giraffe who can’t dance, and all the jungle animals laugh at him until a kind cricket tells the giraffe he can dance, he just needs to find “his own song.” Basically it’s a story of individuality and acceptance and I LOVE IT. When I was a new mom it made me ball my eyes out because I was all hormonal 🙂 Cannot recommend it enough for the wee ones.

  7. Crystal B on January 29, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Check out the awesome book lists on the blog “No time for flashcards”. She has several book roundups that include everything from theme books for holidays to non-princess princess books. I love her lists!

    My kiddo’s favorite right now is The Book With No Pictures. We are deep into Valentines Day books though, and I am giggling way too much at the concept of little kids in love. HAHAHA

  8. Nic on January 29, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I heard Julie Andrew’s series The Very Fairy Princess was really cute and all about empowering little princesses 😉

  9. Jill on January 29, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    I love to read as well and it was my favorite thing to do as a child. One of my favorite childhood book series was the Berenstein Bears. Not sure if they are still around but I love, love, loved them!

  10. Hayley on January 29, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    All of the Julia Donaldson books..gruffalo, Zog etc. I hava library of them and can often read them without even having to look at the pages!

  11. Allyn on January 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    The Little Engine That Could is a fave with my 2.5 y/o boy/girl twins – great message about kindness and perseverance. I’m loving all the suggestions from this page!

  12. Alex on January 30, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    When she’s a little older, read her A Little Princess.

    I loved it as a little girl because of the main character’s kindness and strength. Now as a twenty-something it’s still one of my favorite books (I treasure my tattered old copy) because it spans ages and decades. So many wonderful lessons in there about what it really means to be a “princess” – applicable to people of any age.

    Like you, I was a bookworm since I was tiny and will never change – planning to hand down the magical world of reading to our little ones as well 🙂

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      loooove that one, and had forgotten about it!

  13. Mika on February 3, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Hah yes!! We have just been talking about this in our household – my daughter is only 1, but we have the Real Mother Goose nursery rhymes (a book I had as a kid) and I am horrified by some of the things in there! So it will soon be retired and we will be much more careful about what we bring into the house.

    I don’t get offended by everything non-PC out there, but I do feel there is a big responsibility raising a girl in today’s world (probably the same for boys, but I don’t have one of those :)) to teach her curiosity and strength and adventurousness over vanity and how to be rescued. It’s already tough, I can only imagine it gets harder and harder!!

  14. Katie A. on February 18, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Just came across this book and thought you might be interested:

    Apparently, it’s a tale of a much more badass and less delicate princess 🙂

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