My girls love Sofia the First. Love! In fact, we just had a Sofia the First themed birthday party for my 4-year old and it was a wild success filled lots of little girls dancing their hearts out in pastel satin princess dresses. Now, I know people have mixed feelings about the Disney princess thing. I get it. No mother wants to raise a daughter who believe that a man's love is the answer to all her problems. But I also think there are certain times to fight certain battles and the preschool years are not the time to battle it out over the subliminal messages embedded in princess world. My girls love to dress up in frilly dresses and sing princess songs at the top of their lungs and I love to watch them do it. That's where we're at right now.
However, I do try and avoid Disney princess books. I think it's fine to watch the movies and TV shows - especially when it buys me some time to get a few things done - but I really don't like also reading about these characters at bedtime when is there is a whole other world of amazing children's literature out there (like the Star Sisters, of course!).
All this changed when I saw the recent line of Sofia the First picture books written by Catherine Hapka and illustrated by Grace Lee. As someone who spends a lot of her day thinking children's book illustrations, I'm always drawn to a good cover. The Sofia the First books drew me right in. Grace Lee's water color illustrations are so crisp and expressive and writer Catherine Hapka does a great job of keeping the story flowing. Yes, these books are based on TV episodes but they still feel fresh and fun to me. And my girls love reading them.
So I'm making an exception to my own rule. No Disney princess books at bedtime except these. Oh, and also the Learn to Read versions of Frozen because my six-year old is on the cusp of a major reading breakthrough and I'll do anything to encourage her. But really, how great are these illustrations?
P.S. Who doesn't love a TV show with Tim Gunn voicing a character? That guy can do no wrong! I wish I could hire him to read all my Star Sisters books and then give me one of those wonderful affirmative head nods!