Now both of my girls embrace all things princesses-y but I like to ensure that they have a BIG dose of modern day princess mixed in with the Disney-fied version. So today I am sharing a collection of books that feature sassy, sparkling, smart, kind and brave girls, most of whom just happen to be princesses. These princesses solve problems, rescue themselves, and often others too, with a whole lot of spunk!
Remember, picture books are not just for tiny tots, some of these stories are more suited to children in school. Each title is linked to an Amazon page where you can find reviews and age recommendations for those you might not be personally familiar with (these are affiliate links).
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch: After her castle and clothes are destroyed by the dragon, Princess Elizabeth, dressed only in a paper bag, the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Prince Ronald. Ronald’s subsequent comments about her un-princess like appearance mean the two are not going to have their happily ever after, at least together!
Part-Time Princess by Deborah Underwood: This princess can slide down a fire pole in a frilly skirt, lasso a dragon and invite him to tea, play leapfrog with frogs in the Royal Mud Puddle, and also be the hit of the Royal Ball—where, on meeting a handsome prince declares, “Maybe I’ll marry him when I grow up,” she says. “But right now I’m too busy.”
The Princess and the Peas by Caryl Hart: Lily-Rose May will not eat her peas and so is diagnosed with princess-itus and sent away to live in a castle where she discovers that the life of a princess may not be quite what she imagined.
The Princess and the Giant by Caryl Hart: When the Giant up the Beanstalk is keeping everyone awake, Princess Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands, looking for a way to help the Giant finally get some sleep.
Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz: Wolf’s been brushing up on his ninja skills, hoping to catch some easy prey…just like a little girl and her granny, right? Or maybe not!
The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas by Tony Wilson: Prince Henrik devises a test to find the princess of his dreams but the result is not quite what he expected!
The Princess Who Hated It by Robin Klein: Princess Althea lives in a castle but she hates being a princess. When she escapes from the castle and plays with the neighbouring farm children she realises that one of them looks just like she does. And then she devises a plan!
The Princess and the Pig by Jonathon Emmett: When Priscilla the princess is accidentally swapped with Pigmella the pig in the royal nursery, a very funny mixed up fairy tale is born.
Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson: One for school aged children, Cinder Edna tells the story of Cinderella’s neighbour who takes her destiny in her own hands when she attends the Royal ball.
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer: In her unique style, Olivia despairs the number of pink and sparkly princess and in the name of diversity and a celebration of individuality, she shows us that princesses can indeed be unique…and un-pink.
Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix Ups by Stephanie Clarkson: A little different to the other books on this list, this one sees four familiar princesses – Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, decide to change places, with fun and funny results, and some very different endings to the traditional tale.
The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton: The pony Princess Pinecone receives for her birthday isn’t quite the warrior horse she was hoping for! But through teamwork Pinecone and her pony surprise everyone on the day of the great battle.
The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp: When Princess Sue’s prince is not quite what she hoped for she sets out to find her own destiny.
Not All Princesses Dress In Pink by Jane Yolen: The modern day princess comes in all kinds and can do or achieve pretty much anything she wants to!
The Princess and the Dragon by Audrey Wood: A princess who behaves more like a dragon and a dragon who acts more like a princess swap places with humorous results, proving people aren’t always what you expect them to be.
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