The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

princess in black

The Princess in Black
Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
illustrated by LeUyen Pham
5 Stars

Princess Magnolia has a secret. She isn’t just a princess. She is also a superhero that saves her kingdom from monsters. But princesses aren’t supposed to do things like that (or wear black) so she has to keep it a secret. And one day while Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower she is alerted to a monster emergency that she must go and deal with. Duchess WIgtower takes the opportunity to go throughout the castle and see if she can find any evidence that Princess Magnolia is not perfect. Meanwhile dressed as the Princess in Black, Princess Magnolia reminds the monster why he can’t come up and eat goats, goat boys, or anything else in her kingdom. Only Duff the goat boy starts to see a respemblance to Princess Magnolia. Can the Princess save the kingdom and still keep her secret safe? This is the delightful question that readers will look forward to finding out in future instalments that are promised (huzzah!). This is the type of early chapter book that kids will enjoy reading. It is clever, it is new, it is different, and it has lovely illustrations to boot. Plus I love the juxtaposition that Princesses can be both heroes that save the day and girls who daintily drink hot chocolate while wearing a frilly pink dress. Fantastic! I can’t wait for more!

What to do after reading this book:
Have a hot chocolate and scones party.
Go ride a horse. Or go visit a horse. Or draw a picture of a horse.
Visit a goat farm.
Dress up like a monster and dodge any “sparkle slam’s” that come your way.
Make up your own secret identity. Decide what your superhero costume would be and what you would do.

Candlewick Press, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6510-4
FORMAT: Early Reader, Chapter Book
AGES: Elementary School

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