I have three daughters, and all of them have been through the princess phase. My four-year-old seems more smitten than either of her older sisters were. She was a princess (with an afro) for Halloween. She wanted a princess theme for her fourth birthday party. We created her invitation, invited a handful of 3-5 year old friends, assigned Jaja the role of queen and Rico the role of king, and then I continued my ongoing search for princesses of color–this time for party bags.
Here’s what I found:
- Little Books of Princess Stickers (check out the gorgeous curls on the Black princess in the pink dress)
- Ten Sheets of Multiracial Sticker Paper Dolls, including a ‘Princess and Fairy’ page (for the birthday girl, of course)
My mom and Teri discovered this giant write-on/wipe-off book featuring brown-skinned princesses. And I am ever on the hunt for books with princesses of color. These are a few of our current favorites:
- The Princess and The Pea, by Rachel Isadora
- Princess Grace, by Mary Hoffman
- Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel, by Patricia Storace and Raul Colon
- The Gospel Cinderella, by Joyce Carol Thomas and David Diaz
- Glass Slipper, Golden Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella, by Paul Fleischman
- The Twelve Dancing Princesses, illustrated by Jane Ray (Almost impossible to purchase in the U.S.; we love our book from the library.)
- And of course, Jump at the Sun Fairytale Classics, illustrated by John Kurtz. Our favorites include Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella (except for the fact that her fairy godmother straightens Cinderella’s hair as part of her transformation for the ball)
Teri’s friends came to her party in their fanciest clothes, and then they proceeded to dress up, decorate paper crowns, and enjoy the pink strawberry cake. It was a small, mellow party: our four kids, 5 little friends, a handful of parent-friends for us to chat with. (I think we had 50 people here last January, mostly children under seven, all indoors, way too crazy.)
Birthdays in our family are all about celebrating the birthday girl or boy, and acknowledging their completion of another trip around the sun. We have cake on both their actual birthday and their party-with-friends day (or a cake stand in–this year Teri had an ice cream cone with 4 candles on her actual birthday). We don’t do presents at our birthday parties, so the parties are all about the friends, the cake, and the theme. We ask the children’s friends to bring a photo or drawing related to the party theme instead of a present. The theme is also helpful in designing the invitations (combining the kid’s drawings and some writing, and my budding graphic design skills), decorating the cake, and in putting together party-favor bags, which is a highlight. We have had a lot of animal-themed parties: pig, dog, bunny, panda, duck, and fish, (to name a few). We’ve also had a fairy party, a ballerina party, and now a princess party, as well as a biking party (at the playground), an ice skating/hockey party (at the rink), and a skiing party (at the ski hill). Our next party will be for Gretel, who is already brain-storming themes for her mid-summer birthday party.
So, all you parents of beautiful brown girls, what are your favorite princess of color finds? I have to keep up my stockpile for next year.