I Found The Perfect Book To Ban For Banned Books Week

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.

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    • Abigail

      I know I only have boys right now, so maybe that makes me a terribly uneducated parent, but I don’t see anything wrong with letting your daughters pretend to be princesses and dress up and read stories like that, AS LONG AS you are supplementing that with other things that encourage her to be smart, talented, and work hard. If my daughter (theoretical) wanted to read Cinderella, that’s fine. Go ahead. And then follow it up with a biography of Marie Curie. But I would never BAN tha item from their lives. It’s only going to make them want it more.

      • kathleen

        The problem is that girls are being pummeled already with the whole ‘princess’ thing, which generally emphasizes being pretty and getting married. We want more for our daughters than that, and since there are far more wholesome books out there, banning this one (and others like it) isn’t going to create a desire to read it.

        We encourage our children to read — we make it one of the best things, in fact — need to be careful what they’re reading when they are young and impressionable. When we give our daughters the message that reading is important, and then they read some trash like this book, we are placing a positive value on it. And most of us don’t want to do that,

    • Mollie Hemingway

      They’ll just have to get by on their other 23 princess books, I guess.

    • Marissa

      Try out this princess book: I Am Really A Princess by Carol Diggory Shields. At least it has a sense of humor. A girl secretly suspects she’s a princess, complains about her family (“they make me share a room with that THING they call my sister!”), etc…and ends up back with her family, happy at the end. I’m pretty sure I remember that she even saves a prince during it.

      http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=i+really+am+a+princess&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=5935688309&ref=pd_sl_6smc2n1389_b

    • MG

      The Paper Bag Princess is my favorite. A lot of tongue and cheek feminism and the princess is single and happy in the end. Plus she wears a paper bag.

    • Mr. Brown

      Horrible. If I wrote a book about a little boy who was a basketball star, and it portrayed the basketball star fathering children with multiple women, carrying a gun, and taking bribes in college, I would be thrown out of a figurative town.

      Or perhaps the boy could be a king, and he could quell a rebellion with the slaughter of protesters?

      We shouldn’t be teaching children to aspire to be sociopaths through books. That’s what television is for.

    • Cindy Dashnaw

      You rock!