Always Daddy’s Princess by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, Karen Kingsbury, should be a sweet story to read to my little girl. But no. Oh my, no. If you’re a Kingsbury fan, or believe that a girl’s greatest aspiration should be to get married and have kids, please forgive me this harsh review. You will most likely disagree with my reasons.
On a girl-power scale from Oppressing (1) to Empowering (10), Always Daddy’s Princess ranks around a 2.5. I feel like it is dangerously easy to interpret this book’s message as “If you’re polite, obedient, and beautiful, your daddy will love you.” Little girls get that message from so many other sources. They do not need it from children’s books – especially not Christian books.
If this book was written in 1950, I would give it two thumbs up for having such a forward-thinking heroine. She plays soccer (in pink cleats, of course) and goes to college (it doesn’t specify, but I’m certain it’s a small Bible college and close to home…probably with a strict dress code). However, since it was published in 2014, I have to give it 1.5 thumbs down for portraying such a cliche, outdated version of Daddy’s princess. This book really feels like it was written 20+ years ago and never got published, so Kingsbury added the soccer page and tried again.
Even fairy tale princesses have notable character and responsibilities. Not this girl. The book actually mentions her begging “Daddy, please!” at the mall. WHAT?! When she runs into a fire hydrant while showing Daddy her driving skills, did she have to pay for the damages? I know I did. (Yes, I ran into a fire hydrant my first time driving. And yes, Daddy’s princess had to pay.) The overall concept of the book may be cute, but the whole thing is so vapid it worries me that people are reading this to children.
If Always Daddy’s Princess was satire, I’d be all about it. But no. Kingsbury has taken the most cliche parts of being a girl, paired them with barely related scripture verses and (thankfully) reasonably cute illustrations, and inspired a new generation of spoiled girls. If this is how Boomers are raising their kids, no wonder Millennials have such a bad reputation.
Mom’s review: The board book version makes an excellent chew toy for your dog. Unless your dog can read. Then don’t risk her perusing it, just throw it away.
Toddler’s review: I’m not sure why Mom hates this book so much. The only flaw I see is that it should be considered a training manual, not a fiction book. Read it again!
Baby’s review: Not as tasty as the rest of our books. Probably because it’s been wedged under the couch for “safekeeping” and is only seasoned with dust bunnies, not peanut butter, like our well-used books.
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Mom to two little ones who are way cuter than they have any right to be. Locavore, bibliophile, ambivert. Lover of architecture, the desert, and raisins. Caffeine free. Probably hangry right now.
I wrote about desert landscaping and urban water conservation in my former life.