Guthrie encourages kids to pull on their Princess Pants
‘Today’ co-host and her fellow author have written a book about getting stuff done
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