Saturday, October 13, 2007

What happens when I got into a bookstore...or the tale of the princess books

I went to Barnes and Noble today because they were doing teacher educator day and they were offering books for 25% off. And I knew that some local authors would be signing books, so I headed over with my three year old daughter in tow. She bypassed all the teacher "freebies" and headed straight for the "kids' section" as she calls it. That might really impress you, but she wasn't headed back to look at books, but rather to play with Thomas the "lead-infected" Train. She didn't even give me time to gather a few books to read while she played, so I limited her time. I did the count down--3 more minutes, 2 more minutes, 1 more minute, okay, say goodbye to Thomas.

We finally got to pick out a few books, and talk to the authors. Cece Bell was there with her Sock Monkey books. We just purchased her latest, Sock Monkey Rides Again, at the local art show. I also highly recommend her new board book, Food Friends. It's very simple, but it pairs common foods together (i.e. mashed potatoes and gravy, bacon and eggs). My three year old was "reading" it to herself after I read it to her once.

Cece was there with her husband, Tom Angleburger (aka Sam Riddleburger) of blogging and QuikPik fame. I got to meet the fellow blogger and get him to sign a copy of The Quikpick Adventure Society for me. I can't wait to read it.

But my daughter of course, wanted to find her own books. We already have all of Cece's books (which are age appropriate for her), so she found the things that were her height--Disney princess books. I know it serves me right for going to a big chain bookstore with their paid advertisement books facing out. So she picks up this princess book and INSISTS that we get it. Yuck! I say. Let's get something better--how about an Ed Emberley drawing book? How about How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? How about...

That stupid princess book made it's way to the cash register. Thank goodness it was cheap, but I still hate it. And you might think, so why didn't you just tell your kid NO! Well, I guess I'm also from the school that at least she loves books. As a teacher, parents complain to me all of the time that their kids aren't reading what they'd like to see them read. My response is always, "It's wonderful that they are READING. At least they don't refuse to read at all." I must take my own advice. We have hundreds of high-quality books in our home library. My daughter will still be exposed to the good stuff. I don't want to squelch her personal choice too much. I just need to have an arsenal of decent princess books that don't make me want to hurl. I love The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch and Do Princesses Really Kiss Frogs? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle. Help! I need some more STRONG girl titles for little three year olds who think they are princesses. I can't bear another Disney book!!!!


Carmela LaVigna Coyle said...

You may want to do an Amazon search for "princesses." There you can read book descriptions. reviews and so forth. I have always loved The Magic Hill by Milne-- so lovingly illustrated by Isabelle Bodor Brown.
Princesses Are Not Quitters by Kate Lum has a great message.
Good luck!! And thanks for liking my book "do princesses really kiss frogs}-- you could also get from the library a copy of do princesses wear hiking boots-- I wrote it for my own daughter when she was four and was going through the princess stage like crazy! (Now she's fourteen!!)
Carmela LaVigna Coyle

Kaza Kingsley, said...

It always amazes me what kids get drawn to! I guess maybe enjoy the princess thing, because that'll be over before you know...
Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out to be a literary masterpiece??
(Okay, don't hold your breath.)
Kaza Kingsley
Author of the Erec Rex series