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Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite
The Birthday Princess, by Tatyerra Mikell and illustrator Patricia Grannum, celebrates the magic of birthdays and practicing self-care with those you love. Kiyah shares a birthday with her Aunt Cee, who she dubs the “birthday queen.” While waiting for Aunt Cee, Kiyah and her parents put together the perfect outfit and hairstyle to make Kiyah feel like royalty on her special day. When Aunt Cee arrives, she and Kiyah embark on a day filled with relaxing activities, fun treats, and adventures in communal self-love.
I loved birthday books as a child, and that love only increased when the main character had my name or looked like me. This makes me happy for the little girls who will see themselves in The Birthday Princess. Tatyerra Mikell and Patricia Grannum dedicate the book to black girls and put together a beautiful celebration of them through Kiyah’s story. Even if your birthday child is from a different background than Kiyah, there is so much to love in this story. The pictures are beautiful, with lots of bright, sparkling images that bring magic into otherwise ordinary moments of life. There are even little choices the illustrator included that ignite this story, like the body diversity of the characters. We see women with thicker limbs, a mom with freckles, and our protagonist sporting her bedtime bonnet while she picks her birthday princess attire. This is an ideal book for a solo reader between the ages of five and eight, and an enjoyable story for those of all ages who are learning how to celebrate themselves.