I'm honored to have the My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess Blog Tour stopping by today with author Heath McKenzie here to chat about his new picture book...
My Rules for Being a Pretty Princess
by Heath McKenzie
Rules are meant to be broken in this laugh-out-loud picture book about staying true to yourself.
One little girl gets her greatest wish of becoming a princess – only to discover that the rules of royalty are no fun. She has to have perfect hair and eat daintily and dance gracefully — boring! So, she decides to make up her own rules... A delightfully subversive picture book that teaches girls to be themselves — clumsy dancing, crazy scribbling and all.
Praise for My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess
"This ironic take on the Cinderella story is one that will delight many readers." — Reading Time.com
"Funny and pointed; a fast, enjoyable read for both the youngest, would-be princesses and their male counterparts." - Kirkus
What three words best describe My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess?
Grab a copy of My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess and answer the following:
Hmmm…this is a tricky one!
I think, after much consideration (because I do love pretty much every page in the book for one reason or another), I’m going to say the page where the title girl has cast aside her blue princess dress and is writing ‘my’ in big bolt red crayon next to ‘Rules for being a pretty princess’. That page really kind of sums everything up perfectly!
Again - obviously mighty tricky to choose! I do love the first tea party page! It was an awful lot of fun drawing all that food (though it did make me hungry for each thing as I drew it!)
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 lines teaser:
I guess, the best thing to say would simply be ‘giant bouquet of roses and puppies!’
What inspired My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess? How did the story come to be?
The story was inspired by the impending birth of my first child! At the time, I didn’t know if it was going to be a boy or a girl, however, I felt that if it were a girl I was worried about all the nonsense I’d have to educate her about. (I was going to say ‘protect her from’…but education is totally the best defense!) I knew she’d come into a world of relentless body image nonsense from the media, magazines and tv shows and the online world constantly firing beauty myths and weight-loss garbage and body image junk from all angles! I was also inspired by an old Lego ad from the 70's. It shows a little red haired girl in blue jeans and a blue t-shirt proudly holding up a multi-coloured thing she’d made. There was no skew towards either gender, no pink, no language in the ad aimed at girls - it was just presenting a kid who happily made a thing! Nothing more! Which was the image I wanted to portray to a daughter if I had one. So ‘Pretty Princess’ was born out of all that - just trying to create a book that basically says you can be whatever you want to be! You can love whatever you want to love - there are no boy or girl colours or toys - just like what you like!
In the end, I did have a daughter and so far (she’s almost three now), she’s developed a lovely balance of interests. She certainly loves dancing about in fairy dresses, but often while also pretending to be a dinosaur or lion before going outside to dig in the dirt and jump in muddy puddles!
What are your top three rules for being a true pretty princess?
- Enjoy life! (It’s far too short to pass up any treats on offer at a tea party!)
- There’s much more to life than looking perfect!
- And of course, be whatever you want to be! If you want to be a fireman or doctor or artist or chef or nurse or lion tamer or circus clown - go for it!
What do you hope young readers will learn or walk away with after reading My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess?
I hope they walk away with an understanding that they can be and do and enjoy whatever they like - and still be a pretty princess at the same time (if they like!).
Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at making apple pie.
I’m really embarrassed to admit I’m kind of afraid of whales! (they’re so huge and living in the bottomless, deep, dark ocean! Creeps me out!) On a visit to the Natural History Museum in New York it took a lot of courage to go into the hall with the massive whale hanging in it!
The last great book I read was ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.
If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by My Rules For Being A Pretty Princess, what would it look and taste like and what would you call it?
I’d naturally call it a ‘pretty princess’ cupcake - it would probably taste like chocolate (the cake bit atleast). And it would look something like this!
Thank you so much for stopping by, Heath! That cupcake looks AH-mazing!!
To learn more about Heath McKenzie, visit him here: