Friday, July 31, 2015

Girls to the Rescue!

A part of this post was first published on Parent Edge blog. 

I have always wanted a daughter and have always been envious of my friends who’d dress up their little girls and show off their pictures! Of course I could have done the same but dressing up a boy is never the same as dressing a girl! I have made known my wish even on Onestoryaday every time I’ve come across a book especially for girls. So much so that the other day, my son observed that my dream seemed to have come true with the arrival of my second child – a little girl. When I quizzed him as to what dream was he talking about …..pat came his rather sarcastic remark  “Wasn’t it your dream to have a daughter ?” (Serves me right for coming out clean with him as to my preference the first time around!) Anyway, now that I have a daughter….I find myself confronting various issues that never seemed to bother me with my son! Of course…as of now….it’s more of minor issues like  “When is the right time to pierce her ears” or “What kind of accessories to pick up or are available to go with her frock?”, or  “OMG…I’ll have to ensure towards maintenance of her hair as well when managing my hair itself is such a chore”! But this made me realize that as she grows up, I am bound to encounter or worry about many such things that I wasn’t even concerned about when it came to my son…..and this indeed made me nervous! Well…raising a girl is a different ball game …isn’t it??

Anyway, whether I expect the road ahead to be easy or difficult or just plain different from the earlier one, I guess I will always have books to come my rescue! So when Tulika came up with “Girls to the rescue” by Sowmya Rajendran and illustrated by Ashok Rajagopalan . I had to pick it up. When it comes to reading to your girls…have you ever wondered  why are we still stuck with the age old fairy tales with princesses being boring and one-dimensional characters whose only role is to wait to be rescued by their Prince Charming? Given a choice, most moms would want to skip reading the fairy tales like “Sleeping beauty” or “Rapunzel”  as they perpetuate the primitive mindset wherein the ultimate destination for any girl is to find her Prince Charming!

So if you are such a parent, this is a book that offers a refreshing take on six fairy tale princesses …..who receive an “empowerment makeover”! J  Though the reading level is most suited for children aged 10 and above, the book presents excellent read aloud stories for younger children.  I will probably have to wait for over five years for me to read this to my daughter ….but who says you can’t have your boys read them too! Of course Abhay is so much a boy’s boy that he had no idea about the original princess stories. So we first read the age old fairy tales and then I had him read Tulika’s upgraded version!  I must say…he found the latter much more interesting!

The princesses in this book have a mind of their own, think for themselves and not only dare to dream big but also make their own destiny without waiting for someone else to step in. With the touch of realism, a pinch of quirkiness, a dash of satire and topped with humour, these stories make for a fresh and healthy palate as opposed to the stale diet of Disney princess stories. While the basic plot of each of the fairy tales remains the same, the difference lies in the narrative, factual and situational details and of course the ending which is way better than “happily-ever-after’! Who wouldn’t want to read about what happens to “Rapunzel” who imitates her astronaut mother and dares her barber-father into going against the “tradition” or find out about who the real wolf is,  in the complex and layered “Red Riding Hood” or further learn about the princess who willingly becomes a “Sleeping beauty” or get inspired by no-longer-kitchen bound “Cinderella” who takes charge of her own life and gets her sisters to ‘share’  the house work or laugh along with the rebellious princess when the frog meets its destiny after being kissed by her or empathise with “Snow White” whose mother worries that she may not find a suitable groom due to her (hold your breadth) her extra-ordinary fairness! all of them meet their respective Prince Charming….yes ..but don’t expect wedding bells …but simply enjoy the moment! So enjoy reading "Girls to the Rescue" with your little girls! 

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