Princess or President: A book dedicated to AACBNE founder Brian McDevitt

January 27, 2014

The image of princesses and the perception of beauty has been evolving and changing in the past decade or so.  A local homeschooling mom and business owner from Pasadena wants children to know that they can be or do anything they dream of- princess or president included.

Katie Detrich, owner of “Welcome to Neverland,” a theme party company specializing in facepainting and balloon animals, along with her two daughters Lillian and Madilyn, worked together to create a book titled Princess or President for pre-school and elementary aged children. Detrich says that the idea for the book came one morning when both of her girls were playing dress up and pretended to be princesses. She had just finished reading the book Raising Strong Daughters where Jeanette Gadeberg illustrated the importance of girls seeing women in professional environments.

Writing a children’s book has been a dream of Katie’s since she was a child and her grandmother would take her to the library. She began the book in 2011, after the USA was introduced to both  VP candidates: Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. She asked for input from both of her daughters for the illustrations in the book. Mimi was created by Detrich watching her daughter Madilyn, who liked to pretend that she was a cat. Lily, the hippo in the story, was picked to overcome the stereotype that all princesses have to be society’s idea of beautiful. She wants to instill in her daughters that beauty comes from the inside.

Detrich has dedicated the book to Brain David McDevitt, a close friend who inspired her to follow her dreams. She says that Brian did not judge people for their mistakes, he instead cared about them, listened to and helped them, and that because of those qualities he became a good friend to many people. She wants to honor him for the happiness and clarity he brought to her life. When people told her that her ideas were unrealistic, Brian was right there telling her not to listen to them and to pursue her goals. He believed in Katie and encouraged her to use her talents. He gave her the courage and motivation to keep going when everyone around her wanted her to give up.


The book can be purchased on the Welcome to Neverland website under the “Contact Us” tab for $15, which includes shipping. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Brian David McDevitt Scholarship Fund from now until February 10th.

There are three readings of this book planned for February.

  1. Chick Fil A at Pasadena Crossroads: Tuesday, Feb 11 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Story time begins at 6 pm
  2. Chesapeake Children’s Museum: Monday, February 17 from 11:30-2:00pm. Story times begin at 12 pm and 1 pm.
  3. Two Rivers: Sunday, February 23 from 1-3pm. Story time begins at 1:30 pm.

News Stories