" 'Hey, we love all that girly-girl stuff — but be sure you've got some substance underneath, too,' " Savannah Guthrie says of the message behind her book

By Jen Juneau
February 06, 2017 12:30 PM

Television personality, mom — and now, Savannah Guthrie is an author too.

The Today show co-anchor recently spoke about her debut children’s book, Princesses Wear Pants. But Guthrie insists the message behind the title isn’t about tearing down dresses, and instead about encouraging little girls to be well-rounded.

“We wanted our daughters to be okay with their love of princesses, but also realize that princesses are strong women with real things to do!” Guthrie says of the message behind the book, which she wrote alongside Allison Oppenheim, a parent educator.

“The pants just became a fun vehicle for explaining all the different interests that a well-rounded young lady can have.”

“We are saying, ‘Hey, we love all that girly-girl stuff — but be sure you’ve got some substance underneath, too,” adds Guthrie, 45. “We are definitely not anti-princess. In fact, having lots of fun and frilly clothes (yes, including dresses!) was an absolute must for the book. You gotta give the (little) people what they want!”

Courtesy Savannah Guthrie

The mom of two — Guthrie gave birth to son Charles “Charley” Max in December — says her 2-year-old daughter Vale was a huge inspiration behind the story of Princess Penelope Pineapple, whose story takes her on all kinds of responsibility-filled adventures like hosting science fairs, gardening and piloting.

“I realized pretty quickly Vale was going to love princesses. I think it’s in her genetic code,” Guthrie jokes.

“Princess Penelope’s little brother, Philippe, has a starring role — and we’ve got some action and adventure in the final scene. So yes, I think boys will like it, too. I know it will be a must-read for Charley!”

But Vale’s affinity for royalty went past poofy dresses and bejeweled crowns when her mom realized she could leverage the idea of a princess in an educational, empowering way for her daughter and other little girls alike.

“My daughter is definitely my muse. She quickly picked up on the princess trend and strove to emulate it in every way, which to her meant wearing a full-skirted dress and jewelry while spinning around the house,” Oppenheim says. “I thought, well, how can I work within her imaginary world to make princesses something we should strive to emulate?”

Guthrie admits she loves “books that rhyme” like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Rosie Revere, Engineer — and that she and her daughter are a fan of another celebrity author who happens to have a little girl around Vale’s age.

Kelly Clarkson just wrote a really sweet book about her daughter, River Rose, and Vale loves when I read her that book,” she says. “It has a lullaby in it that we sing.”

Princesses Wear Pants hits shelves Sept. 5, 2017.