Though the Daffodil Festival has formed many local partnerships over the years, with organizations ranging from the Boys and Girls Clubs, to the Tacoma Yacht Club, perhaps the most meaningful annual tradition to arise from such partnership has been the Princess visits to Pierce County Libraries every year.
The library visits represent not just the Festival’s strong commitment to community service and personal development, but also the focus of the Royal Court on academic aptitude. Each Princess is required to hold an above-3.2 GPA as a standard for their title, which is one of the reasons that as a result of earning their crowns, they are awarded a scholarship to a four-year university of their choice. Due to this emphasis on scholastics, it comes as no surprise that the Princesses love to give back to their community, by encouraging reading in some of Pierce County’s pint-size Princess fans.
You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the regular visits to the libraries throughout the Spring of their reign result in some special preferred Princess picks for reading time. Here are a handful of the ways Princesses like to keep their library fans entertained, as well as how to select the titles they know kids will enjoy:
#1: REACH FOR A TRUE CHILDHOOD STANDARD
Princess Amaya Fox, from Wilson High School, stands by an old classic, from Dr. Suess. “My favorite to read is most definitely Green Eggs and Ham, because at one visit, the kids were actually reciting the book from memorization as I was reading it to them! It was such a precious moment.”
Princess Macy Nuber, from Puyallup High School, enjoys the works of the childhood reading titan, too. “It’s fun to see the reactions of the kids when we read about the weird words and animals that Dr. Seuss makes up.”
Classic kids reads make for a favorite of Princess Sarah Litzenberger, from Eatonville High School, too. “I enjoy reading H. A. Rey’s Curious George, because it gets children excited about curiosity, and shows them that making mistakes can be learning experiences.”
#2: SHARE COMMON INTERESTS... LIKE PRINCESSES!
Princess Katie Meinecke, from Fife High School, like reading “books with princesses, Barbies, and pink,” particularly because of how some of her girliest fans react. “They get very excited and engaged in the reading.”
Speaking of princess stories, Princess Meghan LaLiberte, from Rogers High School, reaches for a royal classic, too. “My favorite is The Princess and the Frog, because it was an entertaining book with great content, was easy for the kids to understand, and has a really good message!”
In fact, Princess Tallia Campbell, from Chief Leschi High School, says that she likes to read “any Princess book, because there’s always good lessons in them to help teach the kids.”
#3: KEEP THEM INVOLVED, WITH HUMOR
Princess Elizabeth Larios, from Sumner High School, chooses Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon,
“because it shows kids to be creative, and it’s also really funny! It’s cool to make the kids laugh.”
Princess Mabel Thompson, from Spanaway Lake High School, reaches for Mo Willems’ That is Not a Good Idea!. “It was funny, had a good moral lesson, and was very easy to follow. It had a twist ending, and allowed the kids to keep guessing what was going to happen next.”
“My favorite book to read at the libraries is Bill Cotter’s Don’t Touch This Book,” says Princess Brianna Bryant, from Bethel High School. “It keeps the children on their toes. It also gets the children to make silly noises, which keeps them involved in the story.”
#4: GET ON THEIR LEVEL WITH INTERACTIVE READS
For Princess Amanda Fisher, from Franklin Pierce High School, humor rules the day in a different way, with another popular pick: Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. “It’s easy for kids to follow along to, as well as interact with.”
The Pigeon series finds a fan in another member of the Royal Court, too! Princess Courtney Gelmini, from White River High School, reaches for The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, because of a pretty pivotal moment, when a little bird asks the Pigeon if the hot dog tastes like chicken: “After the kids hear this, they laugh really hard, and then some take a moment to think about what a hot dog actually tastes like!”
Relating to her readership is why Princess Vilma Alvarado Garcia, from Clover Park High School, likes to reach for David Shannon’s Good Boy, Fergus. “I can ask them if they have a pet, or if the situations in the book happen in real life to them.”
For some of the library’s youngest visitors, Princess Christine Lew, from Lakes High School, is all about getting them directly involved with the books they read. She loves “interactive ones, like Ashley Evanson’s This Book is Magical – because they allow a direct connection between the reading and the kids. You ask them to talk like a robot, or shake their imaginary books, and an excitement forms that isn’t really achievable through other stories.”
#5: LET THEM LEARN SOMETHING NEW
When it comes to Mt. Tahoma Princess Leilani Espino’s favorite book, Roseanne Greenfield Thong’s Round Is A Tortilla: A Book of Shapes, she likes the idea that it allows kids to branch out. “The book is in English, but also has some Spanish words in there, so the kids are able to learn some words in another language, in a fun way.”
Princess Jane McDonald, from Emerald Ridge High School, is all about the lessons, too, choosing Doreen Cronin’s Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type as her favorite. “It takes a spin on a classic story, while teaching the valuable lesson of sharing.”
Newly-minted Queen Marin Sasaki, from Orting High School, likes Michael Garland’s Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook, “because it is a great story children can easily follow, and teaches kids that reading is fun!”
No wonder why it’s one of the Royal Court’s favorite appearances to make! While Princess visits might be done at the libraries for this Spring, there’s no reason why you can’t make the venture yourself... especially now that you have all of these great recommendations, straight from the Royal Court.