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Princesses

Whether from a fairy tale or a real-life royal family, princesses capture our imagination. Sometimes regal, sometimes funny, and often braver than the princes that surround them, the princesses in these recommended stories for kids ages 0-9 will amuse and enlighten the children in your life.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

At Her Majesty's Request: An African Princess in Victorian England

By: Walter Dean Myers
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sophisticated readers will appreciate how the author uncovered the story of a young African girl who left her native land and became known as Sarah Forbes Bonetta in Queen Victoria's England. Primary sources are used to reveal this authentic story about a real African princess who met a British queen.

Many Moons

By: James Thurber, Louis Slobodkin
Illustrated by: Louis Slobodkin
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

After becoming ill from eating too many tarts, Princess Lenore is certain that only possessing the moon will cure her. However, none of the king's lofty advisors can figure out how to capture it. Only when the court jester consults the princess herself is the solution found. Soft illustrations decorate this timeless fable.

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

By: John Steptoe
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

While both are beautiful, only one of Mufaro's daughters can marry the prince. The impact of each girl's dispositions on their external beauty is explored in this handsomely illustrated story, which draws on the lush landscape of Zimbabwe.

Sleeping Beauty

By: Mahlon Craft, K.V. Craft
Illustrated by: K.V. Craft
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Under the spell of a vengeful fairy, Princess Aurora sleeps for a hundred years until she is awakened by the kiss of her true love. Lush illustrations place this retelling of the familiar story in a dramatic Baroque-like setting, rich in detail and suspense.

The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Ka'iulani

By: Fay Stanley, Diane Stanley
Illustrated by: Diane Stanley, Fay Stanley
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Hawai'i was once an independent country ruled by a royal family. But, while Princess Ka'iulani was at school in England in the 1800s, the small island nation became part of the United States — and she never got a chance to become queen. This intriguing, quiet, bittersweet story presents a little known period and a real-life princess. It is a well-told and handsome book was created by a mother-daughter team.

The Paper Bag Princess

By: Robert Munsch, Michael Martchenko
Illustrated by: Michael Martchenko
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Princess Elizabeth saves the kingdom (and the prince) from a fire-breathing dragon – and is told by the ungrateful Prince Roland that she looks a mess. The princess shows her stuff as she strikes out on her own, leaving the prince in the dust. A light touch and plenty of humor make this parody successful and its message clear.

The Paper Princess Finds Her Way

By: Elisa Kleven
Illustrated by: Elisa Kleven
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Often as children grow up, they "stop hearing their toys," as did the girl who made the paper princess. So the wind whisks Princess off on a magical journey, ultimately carrying her to a new home where she can once again be loved by a little girl. Highly detailed illustrations are used in this sequel to The Paper Princess, though each book stands on its own.

The Princess and the Pea

By: Hans Andersen, Dorothy Duntze
Illustrated by: Dorothy Duntze
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Hans Christian Andersen's classic story explains how a prince can identify royalty: a real princess can feel a single pea even when covered by twenty mattresses! Soft illustrations depict an elegant setting with regal appointments.

The Princess and the Pizza

By: Mary Jane Auch, Herm Auch
Illustrated by: Herm Auch
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In this outrageous send-up of well-known fairy tales (especially "The Princess and the Pea"), Princess Pauline passes all the necessary tests to win Prince Drupert, including inventing the pizza. She decides, however, that her real talent is as a chef, and so she leaves the prince to open her own pizza parlor. Exaggerated illustrations add to the comical tone of this parody.

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China

By: Ai-Ling Louie, Ed Young
Illustrated by: Ed Young
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Based on an ancient Chinese story (which pre-dates European versions), a girl overcomes her wicked stepmother to marry the prince. Jewel-like illustrations by Caldecott medalist Ed Young bring this variation of the classic tale to life.
Country of origin: China

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
April 7, 2014
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