The first party we had this morning was a pink/princess-themed party for a sweet little three-year-old girl named Austen (PS how cute and literary is that?). Actually my favorite part of the party was at the end when I got her to help me hand out the goody bags to all her friends. She was so cute and shy, totally willing to discuss with me which friends hadn't gotten a bag yet, but then would go up at stand behind them, holding the bag out until they noticed her. If I said, "Austen, can you say 'excuse me, Olivia'?" she'd say it so quietly they couldn't possibly hear her. But then, "Austen, who still needs a goody bag?" and it's all, "Sienna didn't get one!"
Anyway, my second favorite part of the party was storytime, cause it was a good one today.
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann & Elizabeth Kann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I won't lie, today was the first time I ever read Pinkalicious. And truthfully, I'm a little torn about it, I honestly would like to give it three and a half stars.
On the one hand, I'm not really sure what the message is here. Pinkalicious is kind of a horrible child who just wants cupcakes and only realizes the consequences of her actions when they turn her red instead of pink. Oh, spoiler alert. But being pink was just fine by her and in the end her brother ends up pink. Vegetables, and all green foods for that matter, are regarded as gross and she's demanding and kind of a brat.
On the other hand, it's a great read-aloud. And the kids were quick to pick up that her behavior is not the way to act. And the page about the green foods prompted a lively discussion about which green foods we like and isn't Pinkalicious silly for not liking them.
HarperCollins for whatever reason puts this in the 5-8 range, but it was great for reading to the threes. They called out, "Pink!" when prompted and were engaged and interested.
Princess Penelope by Todd Mack & Julia Gran (illustrator)
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Princess Penelope is one we've been reading at princess parties for a while now, and I think I'm gonna have to make a change. While the story has a good rhythm and some nice repetition, the kids aren't as engaged by it and not very interactive at all. I did eventually get them to fill in the word "princess", but it took a good long while. Also Penelope is a bit spoiled and bratty at times, although this does generally end in a time out (on her "throne").
Furthermore, Scholastic has labeled it ages 5-8 on the website, but it's DEFINITELY skewed younger than that. In fact, I would say that the oldest for this book would be the threes I read it to. Penelope is apparently a toddler, as evidenced by her car seat, potty and "chariot". But on the other hand, I'm not sure the kids get the nuances of the illustrations, half based in reality and half in Penelope's fantasy kingdom.
I do like the dog, cat and teddy bear doing her bidding, however. Also the dog reminds me of Boodle My Dog (a book which I can find no record of on the internet, oddly enough. It's a good one.) and I actually restrained myself from referring to it as Boodle at one point. Edited to add: thanks to the lovely people at Goodreads, I've realized it's Boodil, My Dog by Pija Lindenbaum.
I'll definitely read aloud Pinkalicious again. (Truthfully I like Fancy Nancy better, but especially for this age group, Pinkalicious was a real find.) Princess Penelope I think is going to be shelved in exchange for a new princess book. I'm taking suggestions.