I would like to punch this book so hard that its babies will be born bruised. This is the kind of book found in the check-out line at the grocery store, because the marketing asshats know that you're already having the fight over whether or not certain individuals can have candy, which is just at kid eye-level, and the book seems like it's less likely to result in type II diabetes. Choose, parents, and whatever your choice, you will be wrong. Wrong. I picked this specific book had the advantage of not being packaged with crayons and other garbage that will get stuck in the couch cushions. I hate when books get packaged with that crap, because it's all, reading is fun kids! When what it means is, reading is boring! Especially because we view books as product! And we have given no attention to content and have to dress it up with plastic crap!
Of course, I have now read this book one billion times. A billion more loom in my future. The stories themselves were no doubt produced individually after each of these movies came out. Packaging them together in one place shows how incredibly formulaic the whole process is. Two I've had to read one billion times extra concern some princess meeting a poor girl, having the poor girl be all ga-ga about princess life, and then having the princess show this moppet how hard it is to hang out and perform noblesse oblige. In one, the princess gives the lovable urchin a job, so that she can feed her orphan siblings. Awww. Child labor is so fucking cute! So.adorable. Let's dress up the chains on the kids with bows, while they sew clothes for pennies a day!
When I was sixteen, Mum took me to Germany with her, so we could hang out with relatives and look at old stuff. (Travel is so broadening!) We went to one of the Bavarian castles - can't remember which one. While going through with the rest of the lowing herd of tourists, we ended up in this huge room with a whole wall of portraits of noble women - queens, princesses, ladies, etc. I said something simpering about how beautiful they all were. Mum turned to me and said, "This is the most viscous bunch of poisoners you will ever have the chance to see collected in one room. They did not hold onto power by beauty, or their clothing. They were powerful because they were political climbers of the first order." I was bolted to the floor with the truth of it. The only think Mum might have been wrong about is that these were not Medici women. I think their poisoning skills were best, historically speaking.
Admittedly, "and then the princess murdered the prince's older brother, after cuckolding him with half the court, and they lived happily ever after until she was poisoned in turn" makes for some hard questions at bedtime. But seriously, Mum impressed the crap out of me with what she said there, so much so that I never forgot it, and make my husband nuts by telling this story all the time. This book of stories is useless because they are boring lies, literally dressing up poverty and injustice with bows. And don't even get me started about monarchy, in general. Jiminy Christmas.
Next time I'll go with the chocolate.