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My daughter has recently shown an interest in colouring and as a treat a few weeks ago, I bought this Little Miss Princess book as it offered a story combined with colouring sections and she also loves stories. I bought it in WhSmith, costing £3.99 (they also currently have a 3 for 2 offer on all children's books although on that day, I never took advantage of it). Although it has a recommended age of 3 and above, I felt that with close supervision my daughter of 19 months would be ok using it.
The book is part of the huge Mr Men and Little Miss series, this being based on the character Little Miss Princess, although throughout the story and colouring sections other Mr Men and Little Miss characters play a part too. Mr Men characters include Mr Bump, Mr Happy and Mr Greedy, as well as Little Miss characters Little Miss Chatterbox, Little Miss Naughty and Little Miss Splendid. Mr Men has obviously progressed since I was a child - there are characters I never knew existed in it too, for example, Mr Birthday?!
The book was originally released around the time of the Royal Wedding, although I have to admit I never knew that at the time of purchase. Reading through the book now knowing that though, it is obvious that the wedding was the idea behind this book as it talks about a Prince and Princess getting married. The story follows Little Miss Princess and her excitement of getting an invitation to the wedding of the Prince. It follows her preparation for the wedding, getting ready for the big day, then eventually Little Miss Princess at the big day itself. The story is about 20 pages long and would have been fantastic for little ones to look at while the wedding between Prince William and Kate took place.
The story really plays second fiddle though to each page's picture. Each page is around 25cm x 25cm large and about two thirds of each page has a large black and white picture on, with the story printed underneath, covering about 2 to 3 sentences on each page. The picture is designed to be coloured in, with there being bold black outlines to the images within the overall picture. Again, the pictures and colouring are more aimed at children of about 3 and over, as although my daughter can hold a crayon, she isn't able to colour with it yet as she can't press hard enough with it to leave a lasting impression on the paper. I've coloured some in, just to give her the idea but most pages have crayoned lines all over.
The book contains a series of stickers which my daughter absolutely loves. There are around 3 pages of a variety of stickers - I'd say there's around 25 on each page so there are plenty to use. There aren't specific places through the book to stick them, although we've just stuck them throughout in random places. A lot of the larger stickers represent some of the Mr Men and Little Miss characters, as well as small stickers of hearts, pieces of cake, stars and flowers. We have stuck some of them in comical places - for example, we have Mr Greedy blocking the church entrance so poor Little Miss Princess can't get through!
Again, something that is a little young for my little one but an area I think all little girls will love is the section at the back on a page that can be used to write things about plans for their own special day if they are ever a bridesmaid. There is a blank box where a drawing can be placed as to what their dress would look like. I thought that was a really nice idea and engages their imagination, although it may cause constant questions from little ones of 'when can I be a bridesmaid'!
The book is a paperback which is precisely the reason why I was proved wrong - this book hasn't really been suitable for an under 3. I usually purchase hardback and board books for her, but on this occasion I plumped for a paperback. She has unfortunately managed to destroy it within a few uses and for that reason I won't be buying similar books like this for her again until she's older and fulfills the recommended age. That was even with close supervision due to it being joined by staples on the spine. That is no reflection on the book itself though - that was my poor judgement.
I've rated the book 5 stars - if my daughter was older, this would have definitely been a huge hit and for £3.99, it is great value considering all of the things included - a story, colouring, a writing section and even stickers! Full marks. I'll probably be buying it again, if it's still available, when my daughter's a little older.
Thanks for reading :o)