Instructions: For those of you who might be interested in doing this tag, here are the details: first, relate three Disney princess facts (i.e. things you like or know about the various Disney princesses, a term I’m expanding here to include any leading Disney lady); mention twelve books relating to a particular theme corresponding to a given Disney princess (see below); and leave a link in the Comments section below if you decide to do this tag, making sure to reference where you got the tag from.
Now let’s get started. 🙂
Three Disney Princess Facts:
1. Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) is my favorite Disney princess as she is a certified bookworm, humble, loyal, compassionate, intelligent, curious, and an all around good gal. Likewise, Belle makes a great case for how women can be independent-minded yet not act like they don’t “need” a man. She embraces who she is, knows what her strengths and weaknesses are, uses both her head and her heart to solve problems, and learns to see past the Beast’s rough exterior. And did I mention she loves to read? Any character who loves to read is a fictional friend of mine! 🙂
2. Esmeralda (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) gets the best song – God Help the Outcasts. It’s a different Disney number, especially lyrically, in that it’s not a typical follow-your-dreams type of song. Instead, Esmeralda sings this as a plea for God to help people like her who are deemed social outcasts (in her case, she’s a gypsy). Her approach is very respectful as she doesn’t demand that God lend aid but asks humbly and turns the focus of her request onto her people, not just onto herself.
3. Kida (from Atlantis: The Lost Empire) has the coolest overall look. I love the color palette that was chosen for her as it employs blue-based tones that work well with an aquatic environment. Her white hair and makeup also present her as a visually striking character who is totally at home in her world. She’s easily the most unique among the long line of Disney ladies in terms of her look as she represents an entirely different culture, one that’s fictional in terms of design and appearance.
The Twelve-Book Disney Princess Book Tag:
1. Snow White – Name your favorite classic.
My Pick –The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
I have read numerous classics and love most of them, but The War of the Worlds holds a special place in my heart because it was the first book that got me into reading sci-fi – at the ripe old age of ten, no less!
2. Cinderella – Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime.
My Pick – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.
Normally I don’t read before bed, so I’m bending the tag rules here and naming a book that I literally could not put down until I finished it. Sorcerer’s Stone was trip reading material for me and I finished it in five hours of almost non-stop reading. Everything here simply worked – the world-building was perfect, the characters were all unique and possessed memorable quirks, and the mystery element had a great build up. Oh, and there’s Severus Snape, who is one of the best fictional characters who ever lived on paper. 😉
3. Aurora – Name your favorite classic romance.
My pick – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
Tolstoy’s work explores two sides of the love/romance/marriage coin via two rather realistic plots. The first explores the concept of true love in terms of a newlywed couple who struggles with joining their two separates lives into one though the end result is worth the hard work and effort. The second plot explores a troubled marriage and it’s probably this story arc that gets more attention as it focuses on a wife’s extramarital affair. However, rather than glamorize it, Tolstoy shows the emotional and mental toll it takes on both her and those around her, thus depicting that faithfulness in marriage is the superior choice and is far more rewarding.
4. Ariel – Name a book that’s about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams.
My Pick – The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack.
My sole reason for initially reading this book was because it was about the Cardassians, my favorite Star Trek alien race next to the blatantly villainous Borg. But the deeper I got into the novel, the more I realized this wasn’t just a television tie-in. Instead, The Never-Ending Sacrifice is a smartly-crafted sci-fi novel that explores the truth and consequences of war, cultural shifts, family ties, and government control. Rugal, the main character, struggles to bridge his Cardassian heritage and his Bajoran upbringing and sacrifices much to come to terms with his past and his future. But he never relinquishes the dream that hope and order can one day be restored.
5. Belle – Name a book with a smart and independent female character.
My Pick – Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
I give Meyer kudos for creating an intelligent, hard-working female protagonist who is not a hardcore feminist. Instead, Cinder, the main character in the Lunar Chronicles, is an engaging lass who strives to make her own way in the world but isn’t entirely self-seeking. Cinder joins a much bigger battle, one that involves Earth and the Moon, so sometimes she has to sit her personal agenda aside for the good of others. All in all, Cinder is one top-notch female character who avoids becoming a damsel in distress but who also isn’t afraid to embrace her femininity.
6. Jasmine – Name a book with a character who challenged the social conventions of his or her world.
My Pick – Repo Men by Eric Garcia.
The leading, and unnamed, character in this novel dares to challenge his society’s conventions when it comes to the artificial organ trade. In brief, the chief protagonist starts out working for the Credit Union as a bio-repo man, tracking down clients who have defaulted on payments for their artificial organs (artiforgs for short). But when an accident lands the bio-repo man in the same position as the very people he has tracked down, then the hunter becomes the hunted. Rather than surrender to the system, he rebels by refusing to bow to the Union’s whims and even helps others suffering his same plight. Repo Men remains one of my favorite novels and for good reason – it’s decidedly creative, darkly comical, and possesses a rather unexpected deep moral undercurrent.
7. Pocahontas – Name a book whose ending was a roller-coaster of emotions.
My Pick –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.
Is it wrong to have two Potter books on this list? Not at all! 🙂 Deathly Hallows is one of a precious handful of books that I tear up at and in more than one spot, too. Rowling hit a true home run, not only wrapping up Harry’s story masterfully but also answering all of my big questions. Emotionally, it’s hard to say goodbye to the series as well as see the characters say farewell to each other and sometimes not in the most pleasant of ways. There are moments of melancholy, excitement, fear, grief, and joy. And don’t even get me started on the epilogue! But no worries – those were happy tears.
8. Mulan – Name a book with a kick-butt female character. (*I changed the wording here a bit.)
My Pick –The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell.
This novel is a dark, gritty work of Southern Gothic with ample amounts of zombies thrown in. Temple, the chief protagonist, does her best to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where the living can be worse enemies to contend with than the undead. The novel is a coming-of-age of sorts though fourteen-year-old Temple has done and seen far more mature things than anyone else her age. Not only has she tried to carve out ways to survive but she also has to make uneasy alliances, take care of a mentally challenged man with whom she crosses paths, and live with a horrible memory where a single lapse of judgment resulted in a horrible loss. Temple is strong in the effect that she not only has had to survive all on her own but also has to live with her personal demons, which is far easier said than done.
9. Tiana – Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character.
My Pick – Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold! by Terry Brooks.
Ben Holiday, the chief protagonist in both this novel – Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold! – and its related series, is the quintessential self-made man as he’s a top-notch lawyer in a big city firm. However, Ben has ghosts from his past that haunt him and he can’t seem to shake them off. After he purchases the magical kingdom of Landover, he’s turned into a king overnight and strives to maintain a kingdom that, sadly, doesn’t put much faith into its kings as most of them have turned tail and run. But Ben sticks with it and is determined to not only prove to himself that he has what it takes but also show the people of Landover that he’s not a fly-by-night ruler. Ben puts honest sweat and blood into his accomplishments but also isn’t afraid to ask for or seek out help when he needs it, showing he possesses humility and wisdom as well as a good dose of self-motivation.
10. Rapunzel – Name a book that features an artist.
My Pick –Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor.
This middle grade novel is actually about several artists, all of whom spend a summer sabbatical at Sparrow Road, an abandoned orphanage turned artistic retreat. Raine O’Rourke, the protagonist, becomes a fledgling writer as she meets and makes friends with the various artists in residence here, including an elderly poet, a quirky quilt-maker, and an insightful painter. I enjoyed this standalone book for its fun cast as well as its gentle coming-of-age plot that’s full of compelling mysteries surrounding, not just Sparrow Road, but also Raine and her mother. Plus any novel that showcases writers and their eccentricities holds a special place in my heart. You have to be willing to be a little off-kilter to write! 😀
11. Merida – Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship.
My Pick – The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
Even though this novel is told from three different perspectives, one of the narrators is Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, who frequently dishes on her home life in the segregated South during the early 1960s. Skeeter’s relationship with her mother is, shall we say, complicated as her family has always employed African Americans as help, so her mother doesn’t see what the fuss is about in terms of why such a system should change. Likewise, her mother doesn’t respect the value in Skeeter’s college education and isn’t keen on Skeeter’s desire to become a writer. The two ladies butt heads many times, and Skeeter does her best to walk a fine line between proper respect for her mother and a desire to do what’s morally right. In the end, it makes for some great tension and genuine family drama.
12. Anna and Elsa – Name a book that features a great relationship between siblings.
My Pick – the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull.
The lead protagonists here are a brother-sister combo, Seth and Kendra, both of whom end up possessing magical gifts that are in stark contrast to each other. Not to mention that this pairing balances itself out perfectly. Seth is the younger sibling who acts immature at times yet learns from his mistakes and is willing to stand up and fight against the powers of evil and darkness. Kendra is older and lacks self-confidence but possesses a humble heart that enables her to put her fears aside and do what’s right, from getting Seth out of a jam to leading a fairy army. I also appreciate how Seth and Kendra evolve throughout the series, making their characters’ respective changes realistic as they mature and glean wisdom from the challenges they face.
**So those were my picks for the Disney Princess book tag! If you’d like to give this a try, just check out the Instructions above. Happy reading! 🙂