The Princess in Black – Shannon & Dean Hale

20708771The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 3rd Person
Recommended Age: 5+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Picture Books, Action, Princesses, Humor

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Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.


What a delightful little humorous adventure. The Princess in Black is a courageous young girl who goes by Princess Magnolia when she doesn’t have to fight monsters. But when she does, she puts on her black garments and flies into action!

This is a short book of ninety pages with lovely pictures that tell the story along with the narration. LeUyen Pham, the illustrator, also illustrated Shannon Hale’s middle grade memoir, Real Friends, which is a delight too.

Though the Princess in Black fights monsters, which is an honourable thing to do, no one can discover she is Princess Magnolia underneath it all. Why? Because princesses don’t wear black! And princesses don’t fight!

I can definitely see this becoming a cartoon series. It would be good to have more empowered and assertive young female characters on screen. Plus it’s original, because really, the princesses we know so well (thanks Disney) don’t wear black and certainly don’t fight monsters. I guess we shall see.


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