RaisingMom.ca Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
From the Publisher:
What do you want to play today?
A princess, a fairy, and a ballerina face off in this sweet, funny story of three best friends on one uproarious playdate. When three friends gather for a playdate, they have to decide: Will they play princess, fairy, or ballerina? It’s the perfect setup for a royal, magical, graceful, and very cute standoff, with a delightful (and slightly damp) ending. (We’ll say only this: Keep your eye on the frog.) Princess! Fairy! Ballerina! is the perfect book for all the princesses, fairies, and ballerinas in your life!
Three little girls (neighbours) get together for a play date and dress in beautiful costumes. Each is strong-willed and desires to direct the play according to her own wishes. One wishes to play princess, one desires to fly in a fairy world and the other wants to dance as a prima ballerina. Squabbling ensues as each explores and advocates for the imaginary world in which she wishes to play. They bicker and sulk and then their attention is drawn to an activity each can agree on and abandon their costumes for a common activity: playing outside in the rain. A pet frog is in each scene and helps move the action along by drawing the girls’ attention to the rain outside the window.
My almost three-year-old enjoyed the book. The richly coloured illustrations drew her attention. She most closely identified with the princess, as she spends most of her day dressed as one. She couldn’t understand why the other two girls wouldn’t want to play princess together. She highly approved their decision to move on to one of her favourite activities – splashing in puddles. She did not ask to have it read again, which is her signal for a favourite book. As a mom and a teacher-librarian, I enjoyed the book, but it was not a WOW! experience. The illustrations are eye-catching, but the dialogue is middling and lacking detail in places. I was disappointed that it did not have a clear message on sharing or getting along. Distraction was the solution, not discussion, though the message that when no-one wins, everyone does can be taken from the story.
- illustrations – eye-catching and colourful. Keeping a specific colour for each girl and all her accessories helps orient young readers to the action
- representation of different styles/cultures (short hair, long hair, different races and heights)
- sure to be popular with many girls – just the title and cover alone
- boys may have trouble seeing themselves here (exclusionary)
- average text – not inspiring or lyrical
- using distraction to solve the squabble instead of mediation or problem-solving was perhaps a lost opportunity and weakening of the topic message
Why/How Use it with kids:
- a vehicle to discuss methods to problem-solve and get along with friends. What could the girls have done to be able to play together? (compromise, take turns, share, etc.)
- discuss the solution of “when nobody wins, everyone does”. Is this a good solution? Always?
- dress up in or draw favourite costumes. Why are they favourite?