Thursday, December 29, 2022

RA RA Read: Pink and Fancy Picture Books (now with unicorns!)

Glittery, frilly, pink and princessey books are perennially popular. I like delicate, exquisite illustrations as much as the next reader, but not all of these have, ahem, literary merit. However, I am here to give people want they want, not what I think they should want! I like to have a range of options, from the popular bestsellers and familiar characters to stories that offer a little more while still having the "pretty" aspect.

Series and authors
  • Sarah Gibb's fairy tales
    • While some reviewers find her retellings to be a little flat and blah, it doesn't really matter because her pictures are the real appeal and most small children can't sit still for a long fairy tale anyways.
  • Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
    • I have to admit that I, personally, detest these books and some caregivers agree. The art is flat and lifeless and the stories are poorly written and overly preachy. However, these are extremely popular with most people.
    • Additional picture books and early readers are available, as well as tv shows and tie-ins.
  • Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor
    • I've always liked Fancy Nancy because it combines lots of glitz with a down-to-earth family and everyday events and concerns for a child. There's also lots of fun vocabulary!
    • Multiple picture books, early readers, chapter books, and 8x8 tie-ins are available. Ther are early readers for Nancy's sister, Jojo, and there are also tie-ins with the tv show, although of course they slimmed down Nancy and took out a lot of the detail for those.
  • Briony May Smith
    • The illustrator of a diverse collection of picture books, her art includes lots of detail, magical creatures, and pastel colors while also showing strong heroines and accompanying stories with messages of kindness and courage.
Fancy Clothes
  • I had a favorite dress and I had a favorite hat by Boni Ashburn
  • Princess Bess gets dressed by Margery Cuyler
  • Princess Gown by Linda Strauss
Unicorns, mermaids, dragons, etc.

Many titles with magical creatures, especially unicorns, are silly but that's not usually what my readers want - they want pretty unicorns, preferably with glitter and rainbows.
  • Oona by Kelly DiPucchio
  • Ella's night lights by Lucy Fleming
  • Itty-bitty kitty-corn by Shannon Hale
  • A midsummer night's dream by Jane Ray
  • Uni the unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    • Includes several picture books and early readers.
  • Not quite narwhal by Jessie Sima
  • How to catch... by Adam Wallace
    • These are more holiday-themed, and you don't want to hear my opinion about the whole leprechaun trap thing, but it does include mermaid, unicorn, and tooth fairy titles and they are extremely popular.
  • Amy Wu and the patchwork dragon by Kat Zhang
  • The tiny chef by Rachel Larsen
  • Dollhouse fairy by Jane Ray
  • Maggie Rudy
    • She makes miniature scenes featuring mice including a Cinderella story, Sootypaws.
  • Mouse mansion by Karina Schaapman
  • But who will bell the cats by Cynthia von Buhler

Stories of true beauty, moving beyond "princess culture" and more

  • Princesses versus dinosaurs by Linda Bailey
  • Princess and the pig by Jonathan Emmett
  • April and Esme, Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham
  • Pink by Nan Gregory (out of print)
  • Eyes that kiss in the corners by Joanna Ho
  • Paper princess by Elisa Kleven (out of print)
  • Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
  • The most beautiful thing by Kao Kalia Yang
  • Tea for Ruby by Sarah York
    • Robin Preiss Glasser, who does the illustrations for Fancy Nancy, illustrated this.
Originally written in 2016


Annette said...

And just out yesterday--Pink is for Blobfish, for a different view of the wonders of pink.

Becky Shillington said...

Wonderful post! I AM FAMOUS, by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie, is another great title for this list. In this book, Kiely is convinced she's a STAR, since she is constantly followed around by her own personal "paparazzi." She's the perfect little diva and dresses the part from head to toe, embracing the frills of stardom, but having LOTS of fun in the process!