Book Review - The Weightlifting Princess
The Weightlifting Princess, an online book on storyweaver.org, written by Sowmya Rajendran and illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta is published by @pratham.books. This unconventional feminist book comes as a fresh breath of air!
What the book is about :
Princess Nila has dreamt of winning the Surya Championship for weightlifting all her life. She needs to put on two kilos weight for it. She also has plans of going to the sports school at Taibar, the land of snow. However, while her parents support her dream of winning the Surya Championship, their end goals for Nila are vastly different and include her marriage to Prince Vikram of Nethil, the reigning weightlifting champion.
What we loved about the book :
The Weightlifting Princess is a princess tale with a difference. The protagonist is a dark skinned woman, who weight lifts, and wants to put on weight – all a far cry from the image of the princess in the conventional tales that we have read so far. Her aspiration to go to Taibar, our image of her flexing muscles and the author’s celebration of her dark skin are all refreshing, and we wish we had more books like these to fight the stereotypical images that we have all come to tire of. What’s more, the Surya Weightlifting Championship is a mixed gender competition with both men and women participating together. The book ends with Nila winning the competition and when the King proclaims her worthy enough of being a champion’s wife, Nila corrects him by saying that she is the champion now. Way to go, normalizing women’s aspirations and not tying them to the end goals of finding a boy or getting married!
Publisher Recommended Age Group:
The Weightlifting Princess is a reader Level 3 Pratham book, nevertheless, we, at Nestery feels that the tale is easy enough to grasp for kids upwards of 3 years. Read this feminist book to your child for them to know that there are no limits to their aspirations or accomplishments just because of their biological gender and that dark skin is just another physical feature. Everyone’s end goals can be different and that is perfectly fine – there is no need to conform to societal expectations at all!
The Weightlifting Princess is available to read online at https://storyweaver.org.in/stories/51690-the-weightlifting-princess.