A review by Amelia Wellman
When it comes to princesses, what image comes immediately to mind? Is it a tall, thin, blonde teenager in a flowing gown? Is she from a story that takes place in France or England or Germany? This is the royal image that’s most pervasive in the media and it unfortunately leaves out a huge segment of the world’s population. A very special daughter-father duo, Morgan and Todd Taylor, decided to fix this with the delightful picture book: Daddy’s Little Princess.
Every little girl should believe she’s a princess and now with Daddy’s Little Princess, they have a large number of historical examples that show princesses come in all shades and not just Disney-brand white.
What makes the duo behind Daddy’s Little Princess so special is that Miss Taylor is only seven years old! Her father calls her princess but, because there’s such a lack of diversity in media, she was convinced she could never be a real princess. That’s a heartbreaking realization for a little girl.
“One day [Morgan] told me I couldn’t call her [princess] anymore. [She said] real princesses are vanilla and [she] can’t really be one. I received the biggest wake up call.”
When her father showed her all the princesses of colour through history, this amazing little seven year old took it upon herself to create a book about all the women she learned about so other little girls, who don’t believe they could be princesses, could embrace their diversity.
Daddy’s Little Princess isn’t a typical fairy tale. It’s not a fictional story that has Miss Taylor becoming a princess herself. Instead, this short and sweet little book shows her side by side with the real princesses who hold a wide variety of roles within the world. Models, ambassadors, actresses, even a warrior queen who fought off the Portuguese slave trade. The information is presented at an elementary level, which is exactly where it needs to be to make the biggest impact.
The art of Daddy’s Little Princess is done by Delayna Robbins, a woman of colour (who looks to be fairly new to the world of book illustrating) that has worked with Taylor Made Publishing at least once before. Her artwork simplifies fine details and draws characters in blocks of solid colour. Faces are very expressive and, of course, there’s a heavy emphasis on varied skin tones and culturally significant clothing. What makes Robbins’ art so endearing is that Miss Taylor is drawn with each princess and has a big, beaming smile on her face. It’s sweet, adorable, and so enchanting.
Will Daddy’s Little Princess become an expanded series to feature princesses from all walks of life? Asian? South Pacific? Native American? Central American? I certainly hope so because this picture book honestly had me tearing up. Representation like this is so important. Children shouldn’t be doubting who they are and what they can be just because of the colour of their skin.
So many people in the world aren’t getting the representation they deserve because they aren’t white. Worse is the degrading and hurtful stereotypical representation that people of colour tend to receive in the media. The stories of people of colour (especially women of colour) are being white-washed or ignored completely. Books like Daddy’s Little Princess are exceedingly important to help empower little girls that have been belittled or ignored in popular media. Make-believe, dreams, and wishes shouldn’t be crushed because kids don’t have the information they need about the wider world!
“My Daddy and I wrote this book because we wanted other little girls to believe that they can be Princesses even if they are white or brown or light brown or Indian. All little girls are Princesses.”
#RockYourCrown Miss Taylor! It’s girls like you that are going to change the world for the better!