Title: The Super Duper Princess Heroes: How It All Started | Author: Sanjay Nambiar | Publication Date: August 15, 2013 | Publisher: Umiya Publishing | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
Summary: When Kinney, Oceana, and Sammie stumble upon a mysterious bag with magical tiaras inside, their lives change forever. They transform from regular girls into Super Duper Princess Heroes! Their new powers, however, come with strings attached. [Read More…]
My Thoughts: One day, three regular girls – Sammie, Oceana, and Kinney – stumble upon a magical silver bag in the forest. To their delight, they discover three glittering tiaras which transform them into three Super Duper Princess Heroes who possess magical powers – the power of speed, the power of strength, and the power of flight. Soon, they are visited by the Fairy Teacher Mother Superstar Queen, Betty.
Betty teaches the girls the basics of their new powers and sets out three conditions that the girls must follow: 1) they must be kind; 2) they must work together; and, 3) they must always be humble. With this in mind, the girls head off into the forest when suddenly they hear a cry for help. They stumble upon a young prince who is in need of rescue but he is not entirely convinced THEY can help him (being girls and all). But these three princesses shatter the prince’s perception of exactly what girls can do and help save the day by working together.
I like the basic premise of The Super Duper Princess Heroes. The underlying message of the book is that it is high time we dispel some of the stereotypes people may have about girls. Girls can be strong, intelligent, and brave; and importantly, they can work together to problem-solve and to embrace the hero role typically assigned to boys in the classic princess stories and fairy tales such as Cinderella and Snow White for example. Overall, I do think the author does a great job in terms of the basic plot.
I found it amusing when the prince demonstrates doubts about the girls’ ability to rescue him:
“Wait a second,” said Prince Felipe, as he wiped tears from his eyes. “You’re girls. Aren’t I supposed to help you?”
But, perhaps even more amusing is Oceana’s response when the prince is worried that one of the girls will want to marry him:
“You think that just because we’re princesses all we want to do is marry you?” said Oceana. “No way! Listen, Prince, you might be royalty and everything, but we have way more important things to do than marrying you, like saving the world...”
You go girlfriend!!! I really think this is an important message for young girls to hear so that they don’t fall prey to the message more frequently found in traditional fairy tales: that girls must wait to be rescued by a handsome prince who will take care of them the rest of their lives. Blech!
That being said, I do take issue with the physical depiction of the girls in the story. While these are supposed to be more “empowered” princesses, when they are transformed, they don a “glittering tiara” and “amazing gowns” of typical “girlie colors”. I think it would have really driven the message home if the girls could have been transformed into something other than typical “girlie-girls”.
My Bottom Line: The Super Duper Princess Heroes is a fun picture book with an important underlying message about the empowerment of young girls to embrace the hero role. These three super duper princesses demonstrate that girls do not have to sit around and wait to be rescued. They can be strong, brave, and smart and can take control of their own destiny – a very positive message indeed. That being said, I was disappointed that the girls were physically illustrated as traditional “girlie-girls” and I felt this was not a good fit to the overall concept. Regardless, I would still recommend this book to young girls aged 4 years and older who love all things princess and who appreciate reading about girls who are strong role models.
* This book was provided to me by the publisher free-of-charge in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. *