I don't remember many specific gifts that I received as a child. But one that sticks clearly in my head was a Strawberry Shortcake dollhouse I opened at Christmas when I was five years old. I loved Strawberry Shortcake and already owned a few of the fruit scented dolls. This home for them was the best gift a five year old girl could ever ask for.
(Actually, a few years ago I found my old Strawberry Shortcake dolls. You know what? They don't smell as good as I remember. More of a chemically strawberry scent, really.)
Strawberry Shortcake is now back for our daughters' generation. She's been given a makeover - the frilly pinafore dress is gone and hip shirts and pants are in - but her attitude has not changed. She still stands for friendship and being pretty on the inside.
PBN sent me one of the new Strawberry Shortcake DVDs - Happily Ever After - to review. I was thrilled to introduce a character from my childhood to my girls, and they quickly fell in love with the bright world and friendly characters.
Happily Ever After tells two classic fairy-tales, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, althought the stories are slightly modified to fit the lessons being taught. I also think they modified the stories for the interests of little girls: Rapunzel isn't kidnapped to a tower, she goes willingly with her tutor to learn how to be a good princess without distractions. And Sleeping Beauty doesn't wake up with true love's kiss (because to a five year old? ewwww!), but instead is woken by the fairies when Brambleberry realizes she didn't give her friends a chance to explain why she didn't receive an invite to the party for the baby princess.
Both stories teach important lessons for young girls. Sleeping Beauty's lessons are that friends should be trusted and allowed to fully explain themselves to prevent miscommunication. How often did we experience fights with friends as a child due to perceived slights? And Rapunzel is about celebrating being yourself instead of trying to be someone you're not.
Seeing how I have two very independent girls, these are great lessons to reinforce for them. I don't think Cordy will have any trouble with staying true to herself, but remembering to commincate with friends to prevent misunderstandings is a huge lesson for her.
Overall, we really like Strawberry Shortcake: Happily Ever After and I think it will be a part of our DVD rotation for some time. Maybe I'll be buying Cordy her first fruit-scented doll soon? I only hope they've worked on the scent since the early 80's.
Want to win a copy of this DVD? Visit Parent Bloggers, where they're giving away two copies!