The Princess in Black

by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
First sentence: “Princess Magnolia was having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Review copy provided by the publisher.
Release date: October 21, 2014
Content: Yeah, there’s nothing but good fun here. And it’s simple enough for the younger set. It’ll be in the Beginning Chapter Book (grades 1-2) section of the bookstore.

Princess Magnolia has a secret. She’s a superhero, rescuing innocent and unprotected goats from the Big Bad Monsters. The thing is: princesses aren’t supposed to be superheroes. They’re supposed to be princesses. Right?

Well, aside from the stuffy Duchess Wigtower, no one tells Princess Magnolia she can’t. So, even though the Duchess is trying to snoop into Princess Magnolia’s business, she finds a way to sneak out of the castle to go whip those pesky monsters into shape.

As an aside, yes, Princess Magnolia is white. (Shannon Hale has said that’s partially for marketing reasons — if I heard her correctly — and partially because she’s modeled on Hale’s daughter, who is blonde and blue-eyed.) But the goat boy is not, and Hale promises further diversity (of race, at least) in the next book. (In fact, she showed us at KidlitCon a mock-up of the drawings, and they’re quite gorgeous.)

Liberally and cheerfully illustrated, this short chapter book was a delight to read, Hilarious and silly and just perfect for those who can’t get enough of Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson series. (Same sort of humor and silliness as those as well.)

If Princess Magnolia has any other adventures, I’d love to read them.

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