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Savannah Guthrie's message for Vale and all little girls in 'Princesses Wear Pants'

by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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When Savannah Guthrie met Allison Oppenheim, they bonded over having young daughters fascinated with all things frilly and “Frozen.” In other words, their girls were really into princesses.

“When Ayla was born, we were kind of taken aback by the sheer force of her attraction to all things pink and sparkly. She really has a laser focus,” said Allison, a parent educator and wife of NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.

But it was a photo of real-life royalty, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, wearing pants to a rugby match that sparked an idea between the two moms.

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was a great example for the book's author when finding real-life royalty who wear pants.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was a great example for the book's author when finding real-life royalty who wear pants.Getty Images

“I said, ‘Princesses wear pants.’ That’s when I said, ‘That’s a book,’” Savannah said.

That book, which was released Tuesday, focuses on Penelope Pineapple, a princess who wears frilly skirts and owns a great shoe collection — but she also wears pants while getting things done.

Savannah Guthrie, Allison Oppenheim, and some of their "Princesses Wear Pants" fans.
Savannah Guthrie, Allison Oppenheim, and some of their "Princesses Wear Pants" fans.Nathan Congleton

Savannah pointed out that neither she nor her co-author oppose princesses. Instead, the book stresses on personal feats as much as frill.

“It’s really about saying, ‘Hey, young ladies. You can be a girly girl. You can dazzle, you can love makeup, you can love all that stuff. That’s fine — or not,” she said. “But be a person of substance. Be a doer. And that’s a lesson for girls and boys.”

Savannah and Allison Oppenheim's new children's book.
Savannah's daughter, Vale, sometimes dreams of being a princess when she grows up!TODAY

That lesson may take a while to sink in for Savannah’s 3-year-old daughter, Vale, who earlier this week told her mom she wants to grow up to be “a Vale princess.” And that’s okay with Savannah.

“The idea is okay, be a princess, but be a good-hearted girl,” she said.

Savannah and Allison Oppenheim's new children's book.
Allison Oppenheim's daughter, Ayla, still loves her princess costumes - but will now agree to wear pants beneath them when it gets cold.TODAY

The book's message may already be resonating with Allison's daughter, Ayla.

“We’ve turned a corner. The other day, she said to me, ‘You know what Mommy, I really do like pants,’ and so now she will wear them underneath the tutus,” she said. “I’m calling that a victory.”

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Princesses Wear Pants, $10, Amazon

Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim
Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison OppenheimAbrams Books for Young Readers

Although the book has just been released, the authors are already promising a sequel.

“Princess Penelope will have many more big and bold adventures!” Allison said.

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