Princess Kevin by Michaël Escoffier

Published: 7th April 2020Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Illustrator: Roland Garrigue
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

This year, Kevin is going to the school costume show as a princess. His costume is perfect but he knows that the best costumes are authentic. So he is outraged that none of the knights will partner with him and complete the look. Things don’t go quite a smoothly as he planned. Next year, there is only one thing for it. He will just have to be something even more fabulous.

This is a heart-warming and funny story about imagination, diversity and persevering at expressing your fabulous self.

I liked this book because it allowed an exploration of self and breaking gender norms without it having to be purely for trans or other identity reasons. Through the narrative, Escoffier notes that girls can be knights and cowboys so why can’t Kevin be a princess?

It showcases that kids want to play dress up and be the different characters they read in their books and whether that is a knight, a butterfly, or a princess then what does it matter? Kevin can be a princess because he is becoming someone different for the day.

There is some minor bullying towards other costumes and the lack of great design, but it doesn’t go any further than that. Ideally it would be better without this inclusion, no matter how trivial and small because in a book where Kevin is trying to have fun and be his best self on the day, having him join in mocking another student is not the best thing.  There is an apology that’s offered right after which is a slight redemption so I’ll grant Escoffier that.

There isn’t a moral to the story, Escoffier isn’t offering a grand statement in Kevin’s expression because as children do he finds the costume constrictive after a while and hard to play in. I liked that this story is such a non-event. It’s about a dress up event at school and nothing more. Escoffier normalising this behaviour is a great positive because letting boys chose to be princesses simply because they want to be is something I wholeheartedly support.

You can purchase Princess Kevin via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust