Posts in Media Literacy
Eff is for fairy books

If you have a four-year old (OK fine, a four-year old girl), then you are likely well acquainted with the series of fairy books “written” by “Daisy Meadows” (very obviously a ghost-written conglomerate). There are approximately four hundred million of these books about Rachel Walker and her best friend Kirsty Tate, who, when they get together, have magical encounters with various types of fairies. And for the love of Pete, there are fairies for all manner of [girly] things–flowers, jewels, sports, dance, pets, holidays, fashion, weather, colors, music, “magic night” (whatever the crap that means), and so on (and on and on and on). The fairies are constantly plagued by Jack Frost, an errant fairy with a freezing cold palace (natch) and a self-serving attitude. He is always stealing the fairies’ magical objects with the help of his goblin minions, stuffing things up in both the fairy- AND the human worlds. In every book, the fairies solicit Rachel’s and Kirsty’s help to get the objects back, which they always do by out-smarting the goblins.

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Having some gumption: Princess books I like

I’ve been doing some digging into children’s literature for some princess stories that show girls being brave, strong, active agents* in their worlds. I am happy to report I have found some gems; here are my reviews of them, in no particular order.

*Points for knowing the number of times I use the phrase “active agent.” Hint: A-freaking lot. Active agent.

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Storming the castle

Raised on “Free to Be You and Me,” it was my aim to keep our playroom free of All Things Pink and Princess. I’m the first to admit I’m hypersensitive about media messaging and I try to limit the gender-polarized influences upon my kid, where I can. For example, I switched pediatric dentists because the one student dentist we had kept referring to “the princess chair,”  “the princess toothbrush,” etc., even after I very politely informed her that we don’t *do* the princess thing. (I know! I told you! I’m hypersensitive!)

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