Every kid wants to feel special. But what do you do when you’ve tried every sport, hobby or craft, and nothing clicks? That’s just the problem our titular character is dealing with in Zibby Owens’ new release, “Princess Charming” (Flamingo Books). This picture book is far from your average fairy tale; with modern twists and lovable characters, readers will be mesmerized by this whimsical tale of triumph and perseverance.
“Being a princess isn’t always easy,” our protagonist tells us as she stumbles down the palace staircase. “Everyone expects me to be perfect. Most days, I don’t feel perfect at all.” She’s been searching for her “thing” — a niche or skill she can rely on as a part of her identity. But after countless attempts at being a singer, dancer or whatever else she can think of, Princess Charming is feeling more than a little discouraged. It doesn’t help that her brother, Mr.-Perfect-Prince-Charming, seems to have everything figured out. Meanwhile, this little princess can’t even frost a cake, let alone do a cartwheel or pop and lock at hip-hop class.
All that changes, however, when the castle hosts a special guest. When the gala begins to unravel, Princess Charming learns that perhaps her special “thing” has been inside her all along, waiting for the perfect moment to swoop in and save the day.
As a mom of four, author Zibby Owens wanted to find an empowering story of determination and self-confidence that she could share with her own children. But she knows first-hand how hard it can be to find the right book in the kid lit market. With so many options and so little time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
As the host of the award-winning, Oprah-approved podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” Owens is well-acquainted with the best titles in the kid lit industry. She’s spoken to myriad children’s book authors, including big names like Natalie Portman, Alicia Keys and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. And as a professional children’s book connoisseur, there’s no one more qualified to know what it takes to create a great children’s book.
Sure enough, “Princess Charming” combines humor and heart to drive home a vital lesson of self-acceptance. The book is intended for readers ages 3-6, but everyone can surely relate to the princess’ struggle to find her own special talent.
While Princess Charming has trouble finding what sets her apart from others, she refuses to give up on herself or compromise her sense of self-worth. Ultimately, her determination and tenacity are what help her triumph, and are the very traits that make her the perfect role model for young kids. Alongside Holly Hatam’s whimsical illustrations, Owens’ writing carries forth an engaging story with a vital lesson for little ones everywhere.
Relatable and sweet, “Princess Charming” will earn a child’s empathy from the very first page all the way to the twist fairytale ending.