Thursday, September 19, 2019

Beyond Disney Princesses

This fall I am taking a Children's Literature class, which is a bit anti-climactic after working in the field for almost 7 years, but I can't imagine being a children's librarian and NOT taking a kid lit class (I've also had YA and Multicultural Lit). I'm a little disappointed because the scope of the course is not what I expected nor think it should be (glossing over picture books and transitional readers, and way too much YA, especially considering we have a separate YA class), but I digress.

Our very first assignment was to create a LibGuide, which in my opinion is a bit overkill for public libraries and a simple annotated bibliographical brochure or online list is what patrons prefer. 
We had to pick a topic, genre, or subgenre and create a LibGuide using whatever platform we wanted. It had to have a landing page with intro and background, complete with references, 12+ fiction books, 3+ non-fiction (not sure why so few), 12+ websites, at least 2 apps and 1 online interactive or activity. 

Each one of these had to have a graphic, bibliographic info, summary, our review, and a quote from a professional review. Do you know how hard it is to find 12 websites about princesses for kids that are NOT Disney related?? And do you know how hard it is to find websites that have professional reviews? I literally spent hours and hours on this thing, especially on trying to find reviewed websites.

I went beyond the requirements because I figured if I was putting in that much work to do the thing, I might as well put a in little extra and have something that was more complete and could actually be useful. I decided to share it so maybe someone else could get some benefit out of it and it won't have been just an academic exercise. Below is a screenshot and link:

Beyond Disney Princesses

I chose this topic because I always draw a blank when kids come in asking for princess stories, other than the Disney princesses. Now, I don't have anything against the Disney princesses per se, but they are so commercialized, and I think it's good to balance them with princesses that look different and are more adventurous and empowered, and don't need a man to solve all their problems. 

I had no trouble finding books, and I'm sure there are many more than the ones I have included so far. Even though I more than met the class requirements, I still consider it a work in progress and will continue to add to it as time permits, so if you have suggestions, leave them in the comments section! I've included a sampling of contemporary picture books, a few transitional chapter books and graphic novels, fractured fairy tales, and non-fiction. There are also websites with other resources and lists, and suggested apps.

I also discuss classic fairy tales and the benefits of reading them, as well as touch on some of the concerns about a steady diet of Disney. I used Google Sites because I needed something quick and easy, though it does have a lot of limitations, and I didn't want to use the subscription site provided by the school because then I would lose access once the class was over.

If you find it helpful, let me know! I'd love to know the many hours of work that went into this weren't wasted ;) 

1 comment:

  1. My absolute favorite picture book concerning princesses is Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman.. I love the message and diversity in this book. (Description from the Montgomery County Public Libraries, Md catalog:

    Grace wants to participate in her community festival's princess float, but first she must decide what sort of a princess she wants to be--from an African princess in kente cloth robes to a floaty pink fairy tale princess.

    There are also multicultural stories like Cinderella -- Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo, which is also part of the folklore section in 398.2.