Every little girl wants to be a princess, or at least it seems that way to me.  For some little girls – like my own tomboyish six-year-old daughter – it was a very short phase, but there are others, who take the whole princess fantasy to whole a new level!

Now, I have nothing against being a princess (there are even times that I wish I were one!), but it’s my hope that all girls would want to be smart, courageous, humorous, strong-willed, kind, determined, ambitious rather than rely on becoming royal.

Today, ’m focusing on books about princesses, but these aren’t your typical damsels in distress who get “saved” or swept off their feet by a prince. All these gals have lives and agendas of their very own and who know how to make things happen for themselves!

Princess Cupcake Jones and the Queen’s Closet

Written by Ylleya Fields and illustrated by Michael LaDuca (Belle Publishing LLC)

Princess Cupcake Jones loves exploring her mom’s closet and trying on shoes. In the closet, she finds herself in a transforming make-believe world of fun.

When Cupcake discovers a special box that she hasn’t seen before, curiosity propels her to explore what lies within the mystery box. And once she looks inside, she finds herself in a shoe-filled situation that is more than she could have imagined.

Children will delight in Cupcake’s discovery and will enjoy searching for the special word – “love” – hidden in each illustration (see the arrow I have pointing to it in the photo above).

This book is recommended for children aged 5 – 7 years old.

Today I’ll Be a Princess

Written by Paula Croyle and illustrated by Heather Brown (Accord Publishing)

This sparkly little board book indulges every girl’s princess fantasies but still delivers the gentle reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the castle walls.

Every little girl wants to be a princess, and every mom knows that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the castle walls. Our heroine imagines all sorts of advantages to being a princess until she learns that princesses don’t get to play in the mud. It’s no contest, and the tiara is happily abandoned for messy outdoor play!

This book is recommended for children aged 3 – 5 years old.

The Paper Bag Princess

Written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko (Annick Press)

Elizabeth is a beautiful princess who lives in a castle and wears lots of fancy clothes. Just when she is about to marry the “perfect” Prince Ronald, a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, and prince-naps her dear Ronald. Undaunted and presumably unclad, she dons a large paper bag and sets off to find the dragon and her cherished prince.

Once she’s tracked down the rascally reptile, she flatters him into performing all sorts of dragon stunts including burning forests and flying around that world that eventually exhaust him, allowing her to rescue Prince Ronald.

But what does Prince Not-So-Charming say once she’s saved him? “You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled, and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag. Come back when you are dressed like a real princess.”

Let’s just say that Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald do not, live happily ever after. The feisty Elizabeth calls out Roland for being ungrateful and goes dancing off into the sunset all on her own.

This book is recommended for children aged 4 – 7 years old.

The Princess in Black

By Dean Hale and Shannon Hale; illustrated by LeYuen Pham (Candlewick)

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when the monster alarm sounds. A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia, but she’s got 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 ditch her flouncy dresses to defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?

This 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.

This book is recommended for children aged 5 – 8 years old.

Pirate Princess

Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Jill McElmurry (HarperCollins)

Princess Bea isn’t like other princesses—she prefers pirate ships above tea parties, the salty sea over silly dolls. But what’s a landlocked princess to do?

Ahoy, Captain Jack to the rescue! When the captain offers Bea a place aboard his ship, it’s a dream come true—until she’s put to work swabbing the decks and making dinner for the crew. Can a princess like Bea put her royal gifts to work and make the pirates see that she’s seaworthy after all—or will they make her walk the plank?

This book is recommended for children aged 4 – 8 years old.

The Princess and the Pony

Written by Kate Beaton (Arthur A. Levine Books)

Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A BIG horse. A STRONG horse. A horse fit for a WARRIOR PRINCESS!

But when her big day arrives she realizes that not even princesses get everything they ask for. Though she doesn’t quite get the horse of her dreams, she learns to make the best of what she was given.

This book is recommended for children aged 4 – 8 years old.

The Princess and the Pizza

Written by Mary Jane Auch and illustrated by Herm Auch (Holiday House)

Princess Paulina struggles with peasant life after her father, the king, has given up his throne to become a wood-carver. When she hears that Prince Drupert is seeking a wife, she enters a competition against other potential princesses to be his bride who are exaggerated versions of classic princesses such as Snow White and Rapunzel.

During the cooking assignment of this crazy competition, Paulina accidentally invents pizza. She suddenly sees how ridiculous the competition is and realizes the value in the new food sensation she created on her very own. In the end, she kicks Prince Drupert to the curb and opens up her own successful pizza parlor with Drupert’s mother, Queen Zelda as a regular pizza customer!

This book is recommended for children aged 5-8 years old.

Now it’s your turn to share.  What would your princess name be and what would be the one quality you were known for?

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