Guthrie en­cour­ages kids to pull on their Princess Pants

‘To­day’ co-host and her fel­low au­thor have writ­ten a book about get­ting stuff done

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE - Erin Jensen Princesses Wear Pants.

Part the sea of tulle and make room for trousers.

Princesses Wear Pants (Abrams Books for Young Read­ers), a chil­dren’s book from To­day show coan­chor Savannah Guthrie and ed­u­ca­tor Al­li­son Op­pen­heim, of­fers pre­tend princesses an al­ter­na­tive to ball­go­wns.

Though the cen­tral char­ac­ter, Princess Pene­lope Pineap­ple, has a “closet full of tiaras and daz­zling dresses” at her dis­posal, she some­times selects slacks, ex­plain­ing she’s “got things to do!”

“Now that I’ve re­leased this book, I have a lot of peo­ple telling me on Twit­ter, ‘Savannah, you never wear pants,’ which is true,” Guthrie, mom to daugh­ter Vale, 3, and son Charley, 9 months, con­cedes. “Al­most ev­ery day, I wear skirts. So, it’s not that I have such an affin­ity for pants; the pants were just a way to talk about when you want to get things done. It’s just a metaphor.”

She adds, “The mes­sage is you can be a girly girl and you can still be a strong woman.”

Guthrie and Op­pen­heim, mom of three, con­ceived the idea for their book at din­ner, com­par­ing notes about how their daugh­ters were “such princesses.”

“We love princesses as much as any­body, but we were laugh­ing and think­ing, ‘Where does this come from?’ and ‘How can we make sure that they love princesses, but they also re­al­ize you can be a princess but still be a doer?’ ” Guthrie, 45, ex­plains.

“It doesn’t mean just look in the mir­ror all day and ad­mire your­self,” she says. “You can be out there help­ing peo­ple and do­ing things, and so that’s where the idea came from.”

Princess Pene­lope’s agenda in­cludes pi­lot­ing planes for the Pineap­ple Air Com­mand, work­ing in the gar­den and yoga. In one il­lus­tra­tion, she stands in front of a ch­est­nut desk, flanked by flags, po­si­tioned in front of win­dows. It’s easy to draw a com­par­i­son to the Oval Of­fice, which Guthrie ap­proved of. “We thought that was great,” she says of the draw­ing by Eva Byrne. Kids also en­joy the book, ac­cord­ing to Guthrie who has read it to Jenna Bush Hager’s daugh­ters, Mila, 4, and Poppy, 2. “It passed the kids’ test,” Guthrie says. “I was very thrilled about that.”

Bush Hager, Guthrie’s neigh­bor and a To­day cor­re­spon­dent who also has penned a chil­dren’s book, was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing Princesses Wear Pants to fruition.

“I lit­er­ally couldn’t have done it with­out her be­cause she was very en­cour­ag­ing and kind of gave me the road map on how you go about get­ting a chil­dren’s book pub­lished,” Guthrie says.

Guthrie has a group of celebrity moms she draws in­spi­ra­tion from, in­clud­ing Drew Bar­ry­more and Kelly Clark­son.

“Drew very much in­spires me,” Guthrie says. “She’s so de­voted to her girls and she’s just a great, com­mit­ted mom and some­body who’s do­ing it all.” And “Kelly’s such a reg­u­lar per­son and she just adores her kids,” she says of the singer who also is au­thor of River Rose and the Mag­i­cal Lul­laby.

Fans of Princesses Wear Pants can look for­ward to a se­quel sched­uled for fall 2018.


Savannah Guthrie, left, and Al­li­son Op­pen­heim wrote

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