Picture Books – Princesses

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you are probably well aware of the massive princess obsession that has taken hold of American girls. Books abound with princess themes to help feed the need for princess materials in a literary form. This book, part of the Usborne Touch-Feely Board Book series has no real outstanding qualities to put it head and shoulders above similar offerings, but at the same time it is not nearly as completely horrible as many of the other slapshod efforts I have seen in the recent past.If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a girl aged 2-6, want to buy a book, but are afraid that it’ll end up buried underneath wrapping paper with her new socks, this is a solid choice that will most likely be very popular.

As the series title suggests, the book includes “touchy-feely” items on each of the cardboard pages. These items range from fake fur on a squirrel’s tail to myriad examples of fancy fabrics on the princesses. Those princesses have a variety of skin tones, which is a positive development. The facial features (dots for eyes and a thin line for nose and mouth) are too minimal to make an observation about whether the artist was trying to be culturally sensitive, or just “coloring in” some of the characters. One thing I noticed is that all of the princesses wear Renaissance European styles, rather than trying to reflect princess fashion from a variety of cultures or time periods.

Great literature this is not. But likely to be a favorite book for many young “princesses” out there: absolutely.

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