The other day my girls asked me to read them a book on their shelf. I have no idea how it got there or who gave it to them, but as I progressed through the pages, I was appalled. The book looks like it’s going to be precious and the title is “I’m Going To Be The Best Princess Ever!”
With a title like that, how hard is it to tell a story about a magnanimous, generous, loving, kind woman? Instead we get a nicely illustrated manual in being a selfish little brat.
I have no idea how this book got on my girl’s shelves and I guess this means I have to be more careful about screening books that are given as gifts.
The book explains that one day the narrator will be a princess and is going to get a huge castle to store all her crap. Great, because what this world needs is more commercialism and more acquisition of goods. Good work, there. The palace will have “hundreds” of rooms with “really big closets.” A servant will will dote on her hand and foot, dressing her and catering to her every whim. Low-level servants will fill a breakfast table with all of her favorite items because, “I will be able to eat anything I want.” Again, what the world needs right now is not gratitude for our abundant food choices but demands for wasteful preparation of food.
Oh, and she’ll have parties as often as she wants. Sample dialogue:
Princess: Please can I have a party, Dad?
Dad: Of course, my dear.
Because, of course, parents should drop everything in service to their children.
For her birthday party, which other people will plan and organize, the princess will invite a lengthy guest list. She will get a new dress made (illustration of a brown-skinned woman making said dress) and it will have “really rare diamonds” (I hope they’re the blood kind!) and “the world’s smoothest silk” and “a thousand pearls.”
Now this is where things take a slight turn. See, our princess who has been heretofore doted on will actually lower herself and “help” decorate and make food. By that she means that she will command yet another servant to do something. Sample dialogue of our princess “helping”:
Princess: I think the purple (balloons) will look good over there.
Our little princess will “take forever to get ready” (cue illustrations of copious soaps and perfumes) and will wear her favorite jewels. She will greet all her guests. Sample dialogue:
Guest 1: What a gorgeous dress!
Guest 2: You look beautiful, Princess!
Because what’s most important in life is what you wear and what you look like, amiright?
And then someone else who is judged by his looks (“handsome prince”) arrives and tells the princess, what else, that she looks “totally awesome” as he gives her more crap.
And then the book ends.
I can think of no better way to train your daughters to be self-indulgent, selfish, self-centered brats than to read them this book.
I would of course defend the right of anyone to publish such drivel but for banned book week, I’m banning this book from my children’s shelves. And I would encourage librarians to choose better books than this one with their scarce book-buying resources.