The Princess and the Pony
By Kate Beaton
My two boyish boys loved this story, which gently needles the gender sterotypes that shape our children from their earliest engagements with other people. It is the story of Princess Pinecone, the smallest warrior in a kingdom of warriors and how she overcomes her frustration with being treated differently than her fellow fighting peers. “Most warriors get fantastic birthday presents. Shields, amulets, helmets with horns on them. Things to win battles with. Things that make them feel like champions. Princess Pinecone got a lot of cosy sweaters. Warriors do not need cosy sweaters.”
It turns out warriors DO need cosy sweaters, even the fiercest warriors in the Kingdom, who reveal their soft sides when confonted with Princess Pinecone’s unbearably cute pony (another proper gift for a princess) at the annual tournament.
Beaton’s book is very funny and the spread of cuddly sweater-clad warriors at the end really fired our imagination as we thought up of fiercest warrior names to contrast against the rainbow and teddy themed jumpers. I, personally, could have done without the fart jokes, but my two year-old and four year-old did not complain.
A winner of a book for 2.5 plus, and an inspiration for little boys and girls to defy the social standards set for them.