At first, I’m Going to Be a Princess was doing nothing for me. It was a typical “I’m a little girl and I want to be a princess.” And I filled in, (a lot like the mother of the story I would assume) the pink and lacey and the pretty dresses and the flowers and the fairies and all the girl stuff that goes with it. Then, I was okay, this is getting better, as the mother starts saying, “Well are you sure you want to be a princess? Why not this….” (Fill in blank with a famous black woman from science, sports, and more). I felt was a diplomatic way of saying, “You cannot be a princess” without saying “You cannot be a princess.” However, when you learn the type of princes our main gal Maya wants to be, well, maybe she can be a princess after all.
Stephanie Taylor has included women I was not completely or at all familiar with, which I enjoyed. I am all for women who have done amazing things in the world regardless of race or activity, but I am tired of the same ones. Perhaps the style is a bit more feminist than some people like, and others will think it does not go far enough, but if you know your reader, you might just have a hit on your hands.
Due December 2023, I read via an online reader copy. However, I do not think I will find the finished copy unless I find a friend to gift it too. Even wondering how Jade Orlando’s illustrations come out a is not a huge incentive. While they are lovely illustrations, bright, colorful, and well detailed, they were a bit too cartoon for what I would have liked to have seen. This is because the story could be for at least five to a young eight or nine, but the younger imagery could turn those older readers off.