Wow, this review has been a long time coming.
We received this book free from Wandering Scientist in exchange for, um, her being awesome, I guess? (If it was in exchange for an unbiased review, we really should have gotten this post out the door a LOT sooner.)
Petunia, The Girl Who Was Not a Princess is a fun book with great illustrations. It’s about a girl who isn’t into the princess thing and doesn’t, to paraphrase John Green, understand princess-loving girls complexly. A princess-lover moves in next door, and it turns out that the new girl is just as complex as Petunia is herself, as are all the other neighborhood princesses (and princes) and they are able to have a lot of fun together.
Books in this genre of girls’ books come in two flavors. There’s the type that tries really hard to be a feminist book and completely and totally fails because they shame a subset of women (ex. princesses) or provide the message that misogyny is normal in a way that shouldn’t yet be crossing a toddler’s mind. Petunia is the other type– the kind that doesn’t shame even the youngest of choice feminists. Especially terrific are Holly Liminton’s illustrations, which take great care to include a diverse cast of characters doing fun things.
Of course, this book isn’t for mommy– it’s for DC2. So what is really important is the toddler test: Does DC2 enjoy it? Does zie request it? Yes and yes. Zie also gets really excited whenever I’m looking at Wandering Scientist’s webpage and zie sees the cover on the page, “I have that book!” (Usually followed by the sound of pounding feet to get said book, and then a demand to have it read.) That’s still true after a year of ownership.
So if you’re holiday shopping take a look at this one. Additionally, you cannot go wrong with Nelson’s other children’s book, The Zebra said Shhh.