Review posted March 27, 2015.
Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2014. 32 pages.
I’m not sure if girls looking for a princess book will be delighted or appalled with this one, but I’m hoping delighted. When Amelia is given a doll named Princess Sparkle-Heart, they instantly become best friends. So much so, that her dog is jealous. And when he gets the chance, he rips Princess Sparkle-Heart to pieces.
However, Amelia’s mother promises that she can put Princess Sparkle-heart back together, good as new. During the process, we get hints of what is going to happen. Amelia asks for extra stuffing, as muscles, for protection. She has a hard time picking just two buttons for eyes. She wants Princess Sparkle-Heart to have some good teeth.
But the biggest giveaway, I didn’t even notice on my first time through the book.
All that was left was to find Princess Sparkle-Heart some new clothes. Amelia gathered up all the magazines in the house and looked for just the right outfit.
We see Amelia looking at a spread-out array of magazines titled Fancy, with someone posing in a fancy outfit on the cover. What I didn’t notice the first time is that right in the middle of the magazines, Amelia is looking at an issue called Kapow featuring a superhero.
The final result? Let’s just say this is not what comes to my mind when I hear the name “Princess Sparkle-Heart.” And that dog will not be messing with her again. Though the end page shows a happy scene with Amelia playing with the dog, with the new improved Princess Sparkle-Heart by her side.
There’s a message of empowerment here. Now, it does beg the question: Does empowerment have to be ugly? But anyway, the story is a lot of fun. And believe me, my describing Princess Sparkle-Heart’s makeover will not diminish the thrill of discovery when she first appears in her full madeover glory.