Some might think that being a princess is about outward appearances, like having a beautiful dress or a pair of perfectly fitting glass slippers.
But Renae Frey and Estelle BigEagle believe it's about more than that and hope to share this idea with young readers.
Several weeks ago, Frey and BigEagle published "Attributes of a Princess," a children's book that details the positive personality elements needed to ensure a royal disposition.
"I was praying and asking God how to teach quality character traits to my granddaughter in a way that she would relate to and enjoy," said Frey, discussing her inspiration for the project. "There's so much in the world that celebrates bad behavior. Girls might think being a princess is about your dress. It's not what you look like. It's how you make others feel."
"We want to take some of the emphasis on beauty being pretty on the outside, and emphasize beauty on the inside," she added.
With this in mind, Frey and BigEagle set out to create a book centered on more than just the superficial aspects of fairy-tale royalty, choosing to focus on characteristics that create positive and thoughtful people.
"Attributes of a Princess" features 26 virtues, each based on a different letter of the alphabet. Each entry shows Princess Little Bit and Princess Sweet Pea, based on Frey and BigEagle's granddaughters, as they learn the different virtues and the ways in which they can apply them to their daily lives and relationships. Synonyms for the featured words also are included
When discussing themes of the 26 virtues, both authors said gentleness and kindness came to mind.
"It's such a foundational point (in their lives)," Frey said. "If they learn to be kind and gentle now, hopefully it will make a difference in someone's life."
Words in the book range from brave and ingenious to wise and zealous.
BigEagle said of all 26 words featured, her favorite is trustworthy. The corresponding photo features Princesses Little Bit and Sweet Pea holding hands over a bridge to symbolize the word's meaning.
"Trust is the bridge between people," BigEagle explained. "With no trust, there's no access to other people."
The word that stands
out most to Frey is extraordinary.
"I love the words that go along with it," she said. "Remarkable, outstanding, amazing, special."
Both authors hope the contents of the book will help build confidence in their young readers.
"We want them to know
that they're valued, extraordinary and of good work," Frey said. "We want them to go out there and spread that."
To celebrate the release of the book, Frey and BigEagle will host a Princess Tea Party beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 20, at the Estacada Public Library, 825 N.W. Wade St. The event will feature a book signing, photo opportunities and a complimentary lunch.
"All princess are encouraged to wear their princess dresses," Frey added.
Admission to the event is $25, which includes lunch and a copy of the book.
BigEagle and Frey are excited about the event.
"It's a great opportunity to love on people in the community," Frey said.
She added that if they make just one reader feel valued, "we've done our job." She and BigEagle have plans for a follow-up book that focuses on superhero characteristics.
But for now, the emphasis is on princesses.
"We want to change the world, one princess at a time," Frey said. "We want our little princesses to understand that it's not about what they wear or what they have that makes them a princess. It's how they make others feel."