Book Review & Giveaway: The Princess and the Pony By Kate Beaton

PrincessPony 1

Princesses. I have a very uneasy feeling anytime the subject of princesses comes up in today’s children’s market. Princess themes seem to be everywhere. I probably lean much more anti-princess than I should and I have to remind myself to think back to my own childhood. I was a child of the 80s where the Disney movies were continually coming out, but they were not marketed as “princess movies” back then. They were just Disney movies and everyone was fairly excited about the new releases. I also was a very “stereotypical girl,” loving pink, dresses, dolls, tea parties, and Barbies. But as most people tend to not be one-dimensional in their interests, I could also be found playing with cars & Legos, climbing trees, playing soccer, and hunting for worms. I probably would have been excited by the “princess market” had it existed back then, and that is the part of me that I have to remember as I seek out balance in raising my own girls. While I still plan to block any obvious media brainwashing to obsess over a particular theme, I’m also seeking out ways to encourage their interests and broaden their perspectives on ideas.

So what was the point of that intro? A few weeks ago a review request came across my mailbox and I was too curious to pass it up. It had “Princess” in the title, but thankfully I had heard rumors of this book and I am always searching for “princess books” that break the mold. Kate Beaton’s new book doesn’t even come close to fitting any supposed mold. The word “princess” is merely a title for our little heroine and plays very little role in the plot of the story. Beaton has created a story about Vikings, birthday presents, ponies, and perceptions that will make you laugh, warm your heart, and remind you of no other princess book you’ve seen before. Take a look at The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton, 2015. Read the full post…

Book Review: Jumping Jack by Zullo & Albertine

Jumping Jack cover

Sometimes I receive or discover a book and I fall immediately head over heels in love with it. Other times I hate it right off the bat. And occasionally the book sticks in my head and grows on me over time. Today’s book doesn’t fit any of those scenarios. This book is sneaky and stole its way into a review by route of my daughter. An imported equine story has captured the affection of our toddler and thus I find myself examining it, and pondering over it, and vainly trying to deduce what it is that my child is so obsessed about. It’s not that there is anything wrong with this book and perhaps I am just missing the grandness somehow, but upon first read I found myself somewhat ambivalent to it. I like Albertine’s work and the storyline is quirky to match, well-paced and quite European in tone and style. I rather enjoy reading it, but it didn’t really jump out to me. It does thrill me though that my daughter is developing a taste of her own in literature. I gladly encourage her endearment in lovely books even if it decides not to woo me. So without further ado, take a peek at a humorous tale about a horse and his jockey, the terribly disastrous turn of their career, and the silly solution. This is Jumping Jack by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine, 2014.

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