Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Barbie and the *&!%ing Diamond Castle

When the kid and I visited my mom for Thanksgiving last year, there were lots of goodies waiting for my daughter when we got there. My mom bought her a bunch of these-will-never-fit in your-suitcase toys and a couple of books. One of the books was called, "Barbie and the Diamond Castle." Knowing that my daughter loves all things girly, my mom thought it would be fun to read this particular story to A during our visit. Mom even lovingly wrote her granddaughter's name inside the front cover, employing her impeccable cursive penmanship.

Well, little did she know. As it turns out, the book makes no sense. I don't even think hallucinogenic drugs would help my comprehension level on this one. No two pages are related to each other. "I'll be sure to review the book more thoroughly before I buy one next time," said my mother ruefully. She persevered, though, and read the book to the kid.

The book starts out by explaining that these two chicks, who are best friends, live together in a run-down cottage in the middle of the forest. There is no explanation about why they live together or, moreover, why they live in the forest. They like music. The plot gets murkier from there. Something about some adorable puppies that appear out of nowhere, a villain, a prince who inexplicably flies in on a pegasus, a magic mirror with a chick trapped inside, and some sort of double-crossing that takes place. And far, far too many characters for a four-year-old (or her mother) to keep track of.

Every time the book surfaces, I try my best to bury it behind the hundred other books in her bookcase, but she always finds it. It's easy enough to skip pages when you read it to her, though, because doing so does not cause any sort of hole in the plot.

Here is a sample:

Lydia wanted to rule the Diamond Castle, so the other muses had used magic to hide it. Furious, Lydia had played her evil flute and turned the muses to stone.

Melody had escaped with the only key to the castle's hiding place, then hidden herself inside the mirror. And she had not uttered a sound - until she sang with Alexa and Liana.

Unfortunately, Lydia's helper, Slyder, heard Melody's singing and quickly alerted Lydia.

Alexa and Liana knew they had to help Lydia find the Diamond Castle.

"It is hidden near the Seven Stones," Melody told them.

The girls quickly set off on their journey. Along the way, they met two adorable puppies that they named Lily and Sparkles.

They find the puppies in a field of flowers. Oh, and the girls just happen to be wearing floor-length dresses at all times. Seriously, if someone gives your kid this book, put it on eBay immediately.

Fast forward to this week, when A's Godfather gave her a Toys R Us gift card as a belated birthday gift. I suggested to P that he take her to Toys R Us after dinner on Monday and see if they could find Cranium's Hullabaloo game (she played it with her cousin in Virginia and really enjoyed it). Alas, the game is not sold there. Instead, they came back with yet another Disney princess play set (the Polly Pocket-type dolls that wear rubbery dresses and microscopic shoes that do not stay on their feet no matter what) and a DVD. I took one look at the DVD and nearly lost my dinner. It was, of course, "Barbie and the Diamond Castle." Apparently the book was based on a movie (which doesn't really excuse the incomprehensibility thing).

I sure hope nothing . . . happens to either one.

3 comments:

Steph K said...

Um...WHAT? How do you even explain what a muse is to a 4 year old?!

aliciajill said...

I nipped this issue in the bud: no books derived from tv/movie characters, the books are always crap. Books from which tv/movies were derived are ok. As in Barbie is a no go, Curious George is fine.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. I have a daughter obsessed with that movie. I find the most annoying part of that movie is when Lily & Sparkles (the dogs) dance. I even have the soundtrack in my CD player as I type.