Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights




Having purposefully left it out of my Summer Reads blog post because it simply merited its own blog post, Steven Lenton’s ‘Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights’ is another cracking read and visual delight from Steven and publishers Nosy Crow.

It is a fantastic twist on the age old fairy tale stereotype, a mettlesome Princess outsmarting and out-braving ridiculous knights to save the day. As with all of Steven’s work each page turn is a pleasure and his sumptuous design style was made for stories like this. I was sold on the title before even seeing the cover.



At a time when pink vs blue is at the forefront of most discussions about books, toys, clothes (especially the packaging they come in) and almost everything in-between, this book shouldn’t be judged by the colour of the cover. Many young girls do want pink things and to read stories about princesses. Whilst it’s right to be addressed (there are many glittery, eye bursting neon pink books/magazines with free dayglow bracelets, earring wearing unicorns wearing tutu’s and perfect toothed, fake tan 10 years olds beaming back with ‘buy this sports drink’ eyes) it shouldn’t be a witch hunt to put an end to the colour pink as we know it.

It is about putting toys, clothes, books on the shelf that have a positive message, have aspirational characters, show that the colour of the cover isn’t what defines a purchase. ‘Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights’ is a wonderful example of this, it is a marvellous story with a great message and will undoubtedly inspire more little heroes like Daisy.

 
Don’t see this as a pink book for princess wannabes, if the cover was yellow, purple, green or hell, even BLUE, it would have no reflection on the engaging and aspiring story and characters and that is what matters. A recent article on the Guardian about picture book pink stereotyping of young female readers, highlights a number of books to inspire young readers whether they dream of being a Princess or not. You can read the article here 'Picture books that draw the line against pink stereotypes of girls'

Steven’s book is featured in the article alongside an almighty list of books that would and do feature on many ‘best of’s’ and award winning book lists. From the moment you open the book, the luscious illustrations bleed infinitely off the page, surrounding you almost, as you read. If you were a fan of ‘Shifty McGifty’ then this is a must for you too. Get yourself a copy from your favourite book seller or library now!


'Girls are clever, tough and bold
and brave and strong and true.
We’re just as good as boys, you know.
We can be heroes, too.'

Not only are we huge fans (Little J loves a dragon!) but it also appears Sophie Hawkins from the recent Channel 4 series ‘Humans’ is too!


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