Sunday, March 24, 2013

Book Analysis: My Princess Boy

My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis, illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone, published in 2010.

My Princess Boy is about acceptance. The Princess Boy loves to dress up and pink is his favorite color. He dances like a ballerina and plays with his brother. His dad dances with him. He had play dates with boys and girls. He climbs trees in his dress. People stare at the Princess Boy, and sometimes they laugh. This hurts his feelings.

The Princess Boy is about the author's son, Dyson Kilodavis.
Many people do not like this book, nor think it is appropriate for children because it goes against societal norms. It is controversial because the Princess Boy likes to wear dresses and dance like a ballerina.

Though there has been positive feedback about the book and the Kilodavis family, "I actually love this book...This is an age appropriate way to communicate the message of acceptance. I fully support you supporting your son." - Dr. Phil ( Kilodavis also presents the question in her book, "If you see a Princess Boy...Will you laugh at him? Will you call him a name? Will you play with him? Will you like him for who he is?" (Kilodavis, 2010). The book is all about acceptance and tolerance for those who are different from ourselves. Cheryl Kilodavis says, "I wrote the story to give children and adults a tool to talk about unconditional friendship...Compassion takes effort. It takes focus. It takes commitment. We need practice. And more practice. And practice again." (


I think it is safe to say that there are no stereotypes in this book. If anything, the Princess Boy is breaking them. The girls are in dresses and pants, as well as the boys. There are also no examples of tokenism, there are children of many races depicted, not just white people. Nobody looks exactly alike.

We must also consider the effects of a child's self image when reading books. This book shows the Princess Boy doing different things, and being with different people in his life. He isn't stuck only being able to do girl things, or boy things. It shows the Princess Boy being able to do whatever he wants, and proudly saying, "I am a Princess Boy!"

The author of this book is also the mother of the Princess Boy, so she can't be entirely objective. Though I think she does a very good job in representing many cultures (she is bi-racial, African American and Caucasian) when the children come over for the birthday party.

I would recommend this book to anyone working with children. Or anyone in general for that matter. I can't find anything inappropriate about it. I think it is a great book that shows that not everyone fits the same mold. It is breaking all of the rules and changing them to fit the different kinds of people in our society.


10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children's Books for Sexism and Racism. Adapted from the original brochure which was published by the Council on Interracial Books for Children by the California State Department of Education. Sacramento, 1998.
Kilodavis, C. My Princess Boy. 2010.
Kilodavis, C. Retrieved March 22, 2013.


  1. I have never heard of this book before. This is a very good analysis. I would be interested in finding it and reading it to the children that I work with. We have had a few boys in the past who always want to put on the girls dress up things and have a great time doing it too.

  2. I love this book. I found it on Amazon for pretty cheap. I used to have one boy who loved to put on the pink dresses and play baseball at the same time :)

  3. This is a delightful book, one which I would gladly share with young children! You created a positive review which portrays a fair look at The Princess Boy. Nice job.

  4. I think this book looks very intriguing! I would love to read it. I seems as it has a great message about acceptance! I have a boy in my afternoon class who loves the color pink! I think this book looks wonderful. :)
    -Lacie Wallace

  5. I love the concept of this book. I am a mother of two boys and two girls and I always hear the "that's girl stuff" or "boys can't play with my dolls." Although I have always tried to inforce the fact that there is no boy/girl only things sometimes they still come up with these feelings and comments. I will definintely try to look for this book to share with my children. Great choice!

  6. I like the message this book is trying to relate to its young readers about exploring their sexuality and non typical gender roles. It's great that this book is teaching young children to accept themselves for who they are even if it is different. This is the message I want to send to my children so now I think I will read it to them. Great job.

    Tess Keeling

  7. This seems like an amazing book, and you have a great analysis to go along with it. I really like that it shows acceptance with clothes, gender, and skin tone. I liked the flash animation you have of the book. It's funny, but I don't think people would care if it was a story about a woman in say superman's clothes. People seem to fuss more if a boy wants to do typically feminine things than if a girl wants to do typically male things, and it's time we stopped having double standards -Goodwin HDev25

  8. This book and your comments remind me time when we raised up to little boys, but my wife dreamed about daughter. She dressed them in colorful clothes, and put scurf on their heads. We loved when they played with dolls, because we wanted them to be good fathers in the future.

  9. I had never even heard of this book before reading your blog but I think you did a very good job in your analysis. It is like what you said anyone could read this book because it shows that not everyone is the same and that sometime breaking the rules is what is needed. Megan Underwood

  10. I thought the title of the book is very demeaning. Princess boy implies that because a male is gay that he is feminine. great analysis and book choice

  11. This seems like a great is nice to read an analysis of a book that is appropriate rather then all the inappropriate ones. This book breaks the gender stereotypes which is great! It shows children that it is okay to do things like are out of the norm for girls and boys.

  12. I enjoyed reading your analysis. You did a great job. It is nice to see that there are books appropriate for children. It reminded me of this little boy I had in my class last year. We had this purple princess dress that he always put on during free choice. I always found it interesting that the other children who wanted the dress never told him that he was a boy and shouldn't wear dresses. I think that this book would be great to read to young children especially to little boys and show them all that it is okay to dress up.

  13. Angelica, there is no mention of the Princess Boy being gay in the book. He is just a boy who likes to wear dresses. - Stacey