Tag Archives: princess

My Daughter, the King of Queens

Yesterday, Zoe came home from preschool with a Groundhog Day Crown.  (Pro Tip: If you are wondering, “Groundhog Day Crowns?  Are those a thing?”  I think the answer is probably no.)

I don’t know why they made crowns to mark this day.  In preschool, you don’t really need a reason.  I do know that Zoe is a kid who loves a crown.  Her face lit up when she saw the Burger King crown on her kids’ meal box last week.  Looking at her reflection in the window, she said proudly, “I’m a king.  I’m a king eating.”

That’s right.  My daughter is not a queen.  She’s not even a princess, despite her affinity for “princess castles.”  No.  My daughter is a king.

While this may be related to  her favorite Veggie Tales episode (“King George and the Ducky”, a spectacular reimagining of David and Bathsheba), I think the real inspiration is the nativity scene and the Christmas carol “We Three Kings of Orient Are”.

Here is the evidence:

1. She is still playing with the plush wise man from one of her nativity sets (left behind after the Christmas Decoration Rapture), and she makes him sing a special song of her own composition: “I’ve got a present for baby Jesus; I’ve got a present for baby Jesus, baby Jesus!”

and

2. “Mama, I’m star of wonder, star of bright,” she said that night at Burger King.  “Are you star of wonder, star of bright?”

Of all the royal role models a girl could choose, the three kings of the Christmas story are pretty great ones.  They’re foreign astrologers, not kings at all, who figure out that King Herod is not a guy to trust, who follow the star to find the king of kings.  And when they find him, they give him presents and worship him.

So, yes, Zoe.  On a good day, I’m star of wonder, star of bright, too.

P.S. If you were hoping this post would have something to do with the CBSsitcom King of Queens, I am sorry.  In more ways than one.

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Book Report: Top Ten Childhood Favorites

This week I’m linking up with the good people of The Broke and the Bookish, which hosts a weekly top ten list about books.  This week’s theme: top ten childhood favorites.

Well, holy buckets.  Who could pick just ten?  I chose not to include beloved series The Babysitters’ Club, Sweet Valley Twins, The Saddle Club, or the Fantastic Five , although even as I mention them I think, “Oooh!  The Saddle Club!”  Sorry, Stevie and Lisa and Carol (and Stacy and Claudia and Kristy and the rest).  There’s just not room for everyone on this list.

I also wanted to include some true children’s books, which to me means picture books / non-chapter books.  So, the list is approximately chronological.  I would still pick up any of these books in a heartbeat.  They are beloved, and I recommend them all.

But No Elephants by Jerry Smath The book I made my parents read to me until they were screaming, “But NO ELEPHANTS!” right along with Grandma Tildy.  It is now one of Zoe’s favorite books, too, and I love reading it to her.

A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban I love all the Frances books (Bread and Jam for Frances was a close second for this spot), but I loved this one the most.  Lies and betrayal and a real china tea set.  What in the world is not to love?

A bargain for Frances

The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money by Stan and Jan Berenstain   I loved all the Berenstain Bear books, especially this one.  Mostly because I was fascinated by all the ways Brother and Sister found to earn money, and thought maybe I would try some myself.  (ProTip: that is not actually the lesson you are supposed to learn from this book.)  I wonder if selling wild flowers and honeycomb is a viable second career option today.

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat  Oh, the memories I have of reading the Nate the Great books in the children’s room at the Wilmette Public Library.  Oh, that rainbow circle rug.  Oh, the pancakes Nate the Great would eat.  And, you know, the mysteries he solved were good, too.

Nate the Great

You know what? I still love detective stories. Thanks, Nate!

Billy and Blaze: a Boy and His Horse by C. W. Anderson  Another library love.  I remember making a beeline for these books at my elementary school library whenever my class visited.  I wanted to be Billy (or maybe Billy’s really great sister, since I don’t really remember a thing about Billy himself), and I wanted to live in those beautiful pictures with that beautiful Blaze.

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry As you might have guessed, I was really, really into horses as a child.  I mean, really.  I took riding lessons, went to horse camp, collected Breyer horses, and read all kinds of horsey books.  My very, very favorite was King of the Wind.  Its exotic setting, underdog characters, and pretty pictures held me spellbound.

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder It’s hard to pick a favorite book in this beloved series, but for a true “childhood” favorite, I think it’s the first one.  Christmas!  Sugar snow!  Susan the corncob doll and Charlotte the rag doll!  Playing with the pig bladder balloon and eating the crispy pig tail!  I have been a vegetarian for twenty years, but I still think both those things sound awesome.

The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye A brown-haired princess with animal friends and forest adventures?  Was this book custom written for me or what?  Don’t listen to the Amazon reviewers who complain that this book is predictable, or that Amy’s adventures are not very adventurous, or that a really feminist fairy tale shouldn’t end with marriage (spoiler).  I bet I read The Ordinary Princess fifty times and loved every single one.

The Ordinary Princess

This is the proper cover, not the newer version. Accept no substitutes.

Quest for a Maid by Frances Mary Hendry “When I was nine years old, I hid under a table and heard my sister kill a king.”  Why, yes, that is the opening sentence of this book.  I think I helped start a middle school girls book group in college just so that I could make a new generation of eleven and twelve-year-old girls read this book.  Witchcraft, medieval Scotland, a beached whale, actual cloaks and daggers, a clove to soothe your tooth ache.  Read it immediately.

The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher This might be the first science fiction I ever read.  I know technically I should pick one book from the trilogy, but come on.  They are a boxed set (probably).  And if the tripods ever do come, I need the knowledge from all three books in order to defeat them.

Your turn!  What are some of your childhood favorites?

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Rocket Girl

“This rocket costume is cute, if you have a boy,” said the other mother pawing (excuse me: perusing) the 70% off Halloween costumes at Target this weekend.

Well, I do not have a boy, but I do have a girl who picked that rocket costume over a variety of dresses, a Scooby Doo suit, and an airplane (pro tip: if you have the opportunity to choose between a plane and a rocket, you obviously want the rocket).

She held the rocket costume in her arms through the rest of our Target trip and the whole car ride home, where she immediately put it on and started jamming on her kitty keyboard.

I’m pretty sure this episode of Yo Gabba Gabba is responsible (apologies for the poor video quality, if you are so inclined to check it out).  Thanks, Nick Jr., for teaching my child that rockets are better than princesses.  At least for now . . .

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