Not All Princesses Dress in Pink

Jane Yolen, Author, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Author, Anne-Sophie Lanquetin, Illustrator
Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple, illus. by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin, S&S, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8018-6
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Yolen, her daughter/occasional collaborator Stemple (The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories), and Lanquetin (Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins) turn noblesse oblige on its head with this tribute to girl power. "Some princesses roll around,/ wrestling on the muddy ground," asserts the text, as one such young lady frolics with some rambunctious dogs, "then get right up to skip and dance/ in tattered, stained, and muddy pants,/ and a sparkly crown." The crown, which serves as both a goes-witheverything accessory and a refrain, reminds readers that femininity can encompass all kinds of behavior, including the savoring of messy food, using power tools, "moving dirt," and bike-riding. Lanquetin tucks sly fairy tale references into her digital artwork: rather than riding to a ball in a pumpkin coach, a group of girls tends to a pumpkin patch, while another princess—no Rapunzel—leaves a tower via monkey bars. The empowerment theme probably won't be a revelation to most members of the latest generation of very young women—"You go, girl" is practically their birthright—but the snappy, upbeat illustrations and blithely confident characters are plenty of fun. Ages 3–6. (June)
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