Princess Pinecone, the smallest of warriors in a kingdom of warriors, always gets cute sweaters for her birthday. This year, she asks for a big, strong, fast warhorse, but gets a stumpy pony that eats everything and farts instead. She begrudgingly accepts it and tries, but fails, to train it to be a warhorse. During a battle, the other warriors see the pony and begin fawning over it because they don’t get to show their cuddly side. Princess Pinecone sees how useful the pony was in battle and proclaims it the best.

Breaking Gender Stereotypes

At a young age, children are still developing their identity. Let your girl know that what she likes has no effect on her femininity and that no activity is purely for boys or girls. Princess Pinecone is a warrior who wants to win a battle and whose room is filled with books, toy warriors, and weapons. There’s no pink anywhere and she doesn’t fit into the stereotypical girl mold.

If your girl shows an interest in sports or other traditional “boy” activities, encourage those interests and let her explore them on her own to get a sense of who she is. Don’t try to force her into what you think a girl should like, like Barbie’s and princesses. Doing can make her feel guilty for her interests or think she isn’t “normal,” which can lead to self-esteem issues later on.

Be Grateful for Gifts Given

Princess Pinecone didn’t get what she wanted for her birthday, but “you can’t say no to a birthday present.” Despite her disappointment, she doesn’t throw a fit and tries to make the best of it.

Teach your children to be grateful for the gifts they receive, even if it’s not what they asked for. It’s better to begin teaching them gratefulness at an early age and that they won’t always get what they want. By learning that they won’t always get what they ask for and that whining won’t help, children will learn self-control and respect for authority when you tell them no.

Recommended Audience

The Princess and the Pony is recommended for children ages 4 to 8 and parents who are looking for a book that doesn’t box girls into what they “should be.” The language is more advanced with alliterations, making this book fun to read out loud.

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