At the end of the book you lift the flaps of the barn and all the animals in their fancy dress are revealed. We then always have a heated discussion which goes like this:
'Mummy, which would you like to be?'
'I'd like to be the pirate.'
'No, Mummy, you can be the princess or the fairy.'
'But I want to be the pirate.'
'Girls can't be pirates.' (shouting!)
'Girls can be anything they want to be.'
'No, you have to be the fairy.'
'Ok, but girls really can be anything they want.'
'And boys can too, ok?'
'No, mummy. I'm the princess and you're the fairy.' (pause) 'Daddy can be the pirate.'
I think I've even been guilty of saying 'girl power' in one of these discussions before. I just cannot believe that my daughter can be so gender specific! It will get better won't it? I won't be having this argument when she's twelve (to pick an age randomly!). One of the first times we had this discussion she got so upset she started to cry about it. I don't think I ever envisaged having a daughter sobbing her heart out about not being a princess when I first had kids.
For all the crazy politics that go with this book it's definitely one of our current favourites and as I mentioned it is great to read with different aged children.