Cover Image: Princess Kevin

Princess Kevin

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A very sweet story about being yourself. This is a great story for youngsters as it teaches us to be who we are and not who we’re told to be.
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A delightful picture book with the message that it's important to be yourself, and if others don't like that it's their problem. 

Kevin wakes up on costume day and decides to dress up as a princess for the day. His main concern is that he needs to find a knight. 

I loved that this story didn't make a big thing of children dressing up outside their gender stereotypes, and made it normal for children to be who they want to be. I would definitely consider using this book with a KS1 class when learning about being yourself and challenging stereotypes in a PSHE lesson.

I received an eARC of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Princess Kevin by Michaël Escoffier and illustrated by Roland Garrigue is a picture book centering around Costume Day at Kevin’s school.

Kevin is a self-confident kid, and he knows exactly what he wants to dress up as: a princess. He goes all out, with a dress, heels, jewelry, lipstick, and of course a crown. He knows people are not expecting that costume, but “The girls in his class can dress up as knights and cowboys. If they can do what they want, so can Kevin”. 


The problem is, for complete authenticity, his costume needs a knight. And none of the knights want to hold his hand. Not to be deterred, Kevin teams up with a dragon to make the most of Costume Day. 

Along the way, he finds some problems with his costume – the dress is too long and it’s hard to walk in heels – so he decides next year he’ll be something easier… a mermaid!

I really liked the illustrations, with their vibrant colors and the great detail in the character’s expressions, and the text is straightforward and good for a read-aloud. It has a nice message about not being constrained by gender roles and being confident in yourself ("Kevin knows this costume looks good"). 

There was one line I had some mixed feelings about, though: "When you wear a costume, the whole point is that you become someone totally different. Otherwise, it makes no sense to dress up in the first place". I hesitated over that because it implies that Kevin is not gender nonconforming or gender creative or usually inclined towards wearing dresses just because he likes them; rather, he is dressing up as a princess not because he likes princesses, but because it's totally different; Kevin can wear a dress because it's a costume, because boys should only wear dresses as costumes. 

I might be overthinking it, but to be perfectly honest that bit is what kept me from giving this 5 stars. Nevertheless, I did like this a lot and particularly liked the illustration style. And of course, if you're doing a read aloud, it's easy just to skip that line; it's even presented as a parenthetical aside in the text.
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I can see what this one is going for. Kevin wants to dress as a princess. He wants to be fancy and glamorous. It's less about gender expression than about creativity and not being confined to societal norms. Cute.
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Princess Kevin was an adorable picture book about a boy named Kevin who wants to dress and a princess in his schools costume show. This book is written with a wonderfully encouraging tone and is a great way to showcase the freedom children should have when choosing what they want to wear.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an ARC for an honest review.
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This book was adorable! It shows that you can dress up as anything that you want and colors don't have genders. I would recommend this book to anyone.
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Princess Kevin is a super cute, funny tale about a boy doesn't care for "gender" limits in his dress-up play. It's costume day at school, and Kevin dresses up as a princess with some clothes and makeup borrowed from his sister and mom. However, he discovers that being a princess isn't easy when the knights don't want to play with you, your dress is too long, and you have to walk in high heels. But Kevin won't let a few setbacks deter him from dressing up the way he wants to!

I love how simple and not pretentious this story is-- so what if Kevin wants to wear a dress and pretend to be a princess? It's a costume! Stories about LGBTQ+ kids are crucial, but books like this that simply and effectively challenge gender roles are just as important. Boys can wear dresses and it doesn't have to signify anything about their gender or sexuality. I can see how some readers might perceive the line, "When you wear a costume, the whole point is that you become someone totally different. Otherwise, it makes no sense to dress up in the first place," to be dismissive of LGBTQ+ experiences. I don't interpret it that way, though; while costumes/dress-up can be important avenues of gender expression and exploration, they can also just be fun! Kevin is not dressing up as a girl, he's dressing up as a princess, and there's no salient reason why he shouldn't be able to do so without it having some deeper meaning about his identity.

This review turned into a bit of an essay, but what I mean to say is that I think this story is a fun read and also an important one!
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I'm of two minds about this book.

On one hand - it's super cute, the illustrations are perfect, bright and fun for kids. It has a cute message and one that will stick with kids.

However, I also feel like it missed the mark in a few places. For one, it says that Kevin can be who he wants to be, that if it's fine for girls to dress as boy characters, then boys should be able to dress as girl characters. Fine. Except that it then goes on to almost marginalise that statement with the reasoning of "When you wear a costume, the whole point is that you become someone totally different. Otherwise, it makes no sense to dress up in the first place" - which really tones down the message that some boys just *are* princesses on the inside.

I was disappointed that no one stepped up to be Kevin's knight. Not even Chloe. The perfect message to accompany the whole "anyone can be anything" concept would have been for Chloe to change her outfit or swap with another kid, in support of her best friend, and be the knight to hold his hand. Instead, we have Kevin reacting almost with disgust when he nearly falls and Chloe takes his hand. Not the best message to give off.

While it's a good story, it is dismissive of LGBT kids, by saying dressing up is only for fun, to become someone you're not. It comes across as a potentially dismissive, harmful message that could give the wrong idea to kids who really need to hear that it's okay to be who they are ALL the time, but especially to use a moment like a fancy-dress party or event as a time to shine and step out of their comfort zone, to really explore their self-expression.

For me, it's a super cute book for kids to get them *started* on the concept of self-expression and acceptance of LGBT children, but some of the messages undermine how much good it could have done *for* LGBT kids who needed to see themselves in a book. Here, Kevin feels like he's being a princess to be different on purpose, and a rebellion, to stand out. It doesn't feel like Kevin is being a princess because that's *WHO* he really is. And, for me, that's a very important distinction.
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This picture book was pretty fun. It tells the story of the costume day at Kevin's school which he wants to attend as a princess this year. It's not - as I assumed - a story about a trans or gay boy, but a story that challenges the gender norms of society, which I just loved. Because why shouldn't a boy decide to dress as a princess? Kevin is absolutely right.

It's a funny book about a boy who is just himself. I also love that it's not glorifying the situation, the other kids do react as kids probably would in a situation like that (even though maybe a bit nicer). Kevin on the other hand isn't a poster boy either, making a bit fun of the costume of a friend. It comes all pretty natural, but I just wasn't such a fan of the writing style. For me it felt a bit halting and I still feel like it could have made more of a point. 

And even if it made Kevin seem like just a kid, I didn't really like him making fun of his friends costume. Even if it makes him more real, it still gives a message that I'm not a big fan of. 

Other than that the ending of the book made me laugh out loud and if it would have been a bit more about gentle acceptance I'd have made all the kids in my life read this book.
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*received a copy for free from netgalley for honest review* I LOVE this book! super cute drawings, love the idea and story and really love that they say "mermaid". would love to own for sure!
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I loved this book. Kevin's classmates aren't very impressed with his princess costume and Kevin doesn't understand why. If the girls cam dress up as dragons and knights, why can't he dress up as a princess? The story follows Kevin's day at school some of the problems Kevin faces. Definitely a book for the school library.
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Highly amusing book!
The illustrations are perfect and the story is adorable.
I like that the author didn't try to make Kevin some sort of spectacle.
Instead we are taken through the day of a boy dressed like a princess and all that brings to him personally.
We need more books like this!
Much love to NetGalley & Quarto Publishing Group - Frances Lincoln Childrens for my DRC.
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Allow children to be themselves, to play and wear the costume of their choice. The book confronts ridiculous gender norms all while Kevin comes to his own realization. Kevin is a princess just girls can be knights.
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This was a very cute picture book about defying gender norms. I loved that Kevin wanting to wear a dress wasn't linked to him being gay or trans, because it just doesn't matter here: boys can just wear dresses. I do think this could have done a little more in terms of actual acceptance. It was good to see that Kevin just didn't care what his peers thought, and implicitly, of course, his parents were accepting enough. But it would have been nice if there had been more of a twist in terms of the acceptance of his peers, because they seemed to tolerate him and not much more.
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🇬🇧/ 🇫🇷

🇬🇧
Princess Kevin is a sweet children's book about a little kid who has fabulous plans for costume day. Kevin is a princess, utterly and absolutely, complete with a pink dress, high heels, makeup, and of course a crown. It's not so easy to be a princess, but Kevin is determined to make it work!

When I saw this book at a French bookfair, I knew that it was exactly the kind of book I wanted to get for my nephew – he's a high heels, pigtails, and fairy wings kind of a kid, and at 6, I can already see some of the luster fading away as he becomes aware of the expectations around him.

What I love about Princess Kevin is how sweet and understated it is as Kevin navigates costume day. The story is not about Kevin's gender or romantic orientation, it's about friendships, costumes, and high heeled mishaps. 

For kids who may be queer or trans, there's a lot to connect to; But the book it also disavows gender norms; Kevin is pronouned as he/him, and there's no indication that this is an ill fit. 

Kevin –he– is a princess. It's really simple and straightforward. 

I had the pleasure of attending a signing in Paris for the original French edition of the book. The illustrated signed with a really sweet detailed drawing along with a note to my nephew. 

I'm really excited to see this coming to English language readers as well, and I love the translation. It's a great book in any language!

🇫🇷

Un douce livre illustré, sur un enfant avec des plans fabuleux pour le jour des costumes a son école. Kevin est une princesse. C'est très simple: il a une robe rose, des talons hauts, et carrément une couronne.

L'histoire ne se traite pas l'identité de genre ou de sexualité, néanmoins c'explore les limitations des expectations commun de notre société.

J'ai eu la chance de rencontrer l'illustrateur de Princesse Kevin, et je l'aimait beaucoup – cet livre semble trop special et important a des enfants qui sont a face des limitations sociaux.

Je suis très heureux que ce livre a était traduit a l'anglais!
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This was a fun children’s book, in which Kevin attends his school’s costume day as a princess. The illustrations are bright, colourful, and full of activity. The story, though simple, is fun and realistic. It also contains an important message - that it’s just as fine for boys to dress up as “female” characters as for girls to dress up as “male” characters. I enjoyed it.

I was given a free copy of this book. My opinions are my own.
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This story was SO much fun! Kevin wakes up one morning to "costume day" at school! He decides he wants to be a Princess.

Throughout his day Kevin discovers several things. He can't seem to find a knight... and being a princess is no fun without one. But if some people think you shouldn't be a princess...that's their problem!

The illustrations in this book are colourful and amusing. Kevin is a lovely fellow, forthright and independent and fearlessly himself. He's a great character to welcome into any child's life.

By the end of this little book, Kevin has discovered that being a Princess is pretty difficult... and he doesn't much like walking in high heels... so! Next year, he's going to be a MERMAID!

Loved this book! It would be a great addition to anyone's library!
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Princess Kevin is an adorable , quirky story about a boy Kevin who wants to  wants to be a princess for his school's costume show.  

Kevin's want the entire princess package the beautiful pink gown , the high heels , the make up and of course the crown and we see Kevin in his glorious princess self  , Kevin soon realize it isn't easy being a princess and he is doing his very best  to be but so perhaps it will be a good idea to wear something more practical and less tiring than heels for next year costume show.  

I love the tone and the approach book was written . There is no moralizing , pedantic and goody-goody parents , other kids, teacher telling Kevin , he couldn't be a princess , that he couldn't wear what he wanted to wear.  The message of the story is more about the reality and what it takes to be a princess and that only by experiencing , he could know. 

The pictures are very cute and the other kids costumes are funny and sweet. 

Planning on reading Princess Kevin with my young nieces and nephews .

I just reviewed Princess Kevin by Michael Escoffier. #PrincessKevin #NetGalley
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You can wear what you want no matter what anyone else thinks.  Michael Escoffier conveys this idea in Princess Kevin without being preachy or trying to ram the message home. I particularly liked that there were no adults in the story telling him that he couldn't be a princess; that wasn't his battle, it was more about the practicalities of being a princess, something he could only learn by being given the opportunity to be one. 
A sweet, funny story that gently mocks gender stereotypes.
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Kevin really doesn't care what the other kids think. He just wants to be a princess for his school's costume show. He comes up with a great princess costume, complete with high heels and makeup. There's just one thing missing: a knight. But none of the boys want to be Kevin's knight in shining armour. In fact, the only kid who seems to "get" Kevin is Chloe, who is supposedly dressed as a dragon (but looks more like a sock thanks to her dad's lack of costuming abilities). By the end of the day, Kevin's kind of had enough of being a princess, but not because of what anyone else thinks. Who thought high heels were a good idea, anyway? So when it comes time to think of what he's going to be the next year, he decides to keep it simple (while still apparently not giving a hoot what anyone else thinks).

Themes of bravery, friendship, and smashing gender norms are woven throughout this amusing story about a little boy who just wants to be a princess. After all, he reasons, girls can be cowboys and knights... so why can't he be a princess? It's probably pretty rare to find a kid who's either this oblivious or who just doesn't care about the opinions of others... but I kind of like that he's written that way. It shows kids that it's okay to dress up in the costume you really like, even if some of the other kids don't understand your choice.

The illustrations are amusing. Chloe really does look like a sock. And it's fun to see all the other costumes that Kevin's class is wearing.

This is definitely a book to check out if you're looking for titles that feature themes of diversity and standing up for yourself. It will probably also find an audience with readers who love dressing up as much as Kevin does.
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