Age 3-5 yrs Image - The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke & Kerstin Meyer

Published on January 26th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books


Ten best princess books… princesses who rock!

Is there a little girl in your life who is crazy about princesses? Are you sick of reading about insipid princesses who wait around for their prince to come? Then this list is for you. Here’s our selection of the Top 10 best princess books… the princesses who truly rock!

The Princess and the Pig
by Jonathan Emmett & ill. Poly Bernatene

There’s been a terrible mix-up in the royal nursery. Priscilla the princess has accidentally switched places with Pigmella, the farmer’s new piglet. The kindly farmer and his wife believe it’s the work of a good witch, while the ill-tempered king and queen blame the bad witch – after all, this happens in fairy tales all the time! While Priscilla grows up on the farm, poor yet very happy, things don’t turn out quite so well for Pigmella. Kissing a frog has done wonders before, but will it work for a pig?

This fractured fairy tale holds just as much appeal for adults as for children, with its laugh-out-loud humor, metafictional nods to other fairy tales and its witty, bright illustrations. One of the best princess books we’ve found.


The Princess Knight
by Cornelia Funke & ill. Kerstin Meyer

“You want me to marry some dimwit in a tin suit?” So says Princess Violetta upon discovering her father the king has announced a tournament with her hand in marriage as the prize. Violetta has grown up learning the same knightly skills as her older brothers, and what she lacks in size she makes up for in determination – she becomes the nimblest, cleverest knight in the land. Perhaps you can guess how she rescues herself? The delicate illustrations by Kerstin Meyer are based on the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, bringing a true knightly feel to this charming story.


Not All Princesses Dress in Pink
by Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y. Stemple

Not all princesses dress in pink.
Some play in bright red socks that stink,
blue team jerseys that don’t quite fit,
accessorized with a baseball mitt,
and a sparkly crown!

Princesses come in all kinds. Exuberant text from Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi Yolen Stemple paired with charming illustrations show girls jumping in mud puddles, climbing trees, playing sports and making messes—all while wearing their tiaras. Although there’s no storyline to the rhyming text and whimsical illustrations, this book serves as a good antidote to the cloying pink that has infected so many books aimed at girls. Definitely one of the best princess books you’ll come across.


Dangerously Ever After
by Dashka Slater

Princess Amanita laughs in the face of danger. Brakeless bicycles, pet scorpions, spiky plants – some of her favourite things. So when quiet Prince Florian gives her roses, she’s unimpressed… until she sees the glorious thorns. She must have rose seeds of her own! But when huge honking noses grow instead, what is a princess with a taste for danger to do? This funny, richly illustrated book has a touch of the absurd, a pinch of coming-of-age, and a huge helping of danger – all adding up to an appealing, engaging book for children and adults alike.


Cinder Edna
by Ellen Jackson

We all know Cinderella, who worked sunup to sundown for her wicked stepmother and stepsisters – but how many of us know the story of Cinder Edna, who also worked her fingers to the bone for her evil step-relatives? Cinderella had the good fortune to be rescued by her fairy godmother – but strong, self-reliant, spunky Cinder Edna rescues herself. This clever revision of a familiar story is full of surprises and twists, and is bound to become a family favourite.


by Julia Donaldson

Another winner from the team that brought us The Gruffalo. Zog is the keenest dragon in school. He’s also the most accident-prone. Luckily a mysterious little girl always happens by to patch up his bumps and bruises. And she’s just as helpful when Zog is set his biggest dragon test – to find a princess to rescue. An endearing, engaging story that turns stereotypes of all sorts on their heads.


The Paper Bag Princess
by Robert Munsch & ill. Michael Martchenko

This is the classic cool, smart, interesting princess picture book, first published in 1980. Princess Elizabeth is about to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle, burns her clothes with its fiery breath, and kidnaps Ronald. The dauntless and resourceful princess sets off to rescue Ronald. With only her courage and her brains, she finds and outwits the dragon and comes to Ronald’s rescue, only to be met with disdain at her unprincesslike appearance. It does have a happy ending, just one with a twist. Tongue-in-cheek humor and engaging illustrations – this is most definitely one of the best princess books around.


The Princess and the Admiral
by Charlotte Pomerantz & ill. Tony Chen

The clever young princess of this delightful story rules over the Tiny Kingdom, about to celebrate 100 years at peace. When a fleet of warships threatens her land, Princess Mat Mat uses her wits and ingenuity to rout the invaders and save her kingdom with nary a battle. Inspired by the 13th century invasion of Vietnam by the Imperial Navy of Kublai Khan.


The Worst Princess
by Anna Kemp

Once upon a time, in a tower near you, Lived a sad princess; the Princess Sue. “Some day,” she sighed, “my prince will come, But I wish he’d move his royal bum.” But when Princess Sue’s prince finally does arrive, he’s not quite what she had in mind. Find out how the feisty princess escapes the clutches of her twit of a prince in this funny twist on the traditional princess tale. Author Anna Kemp and illustrator Sara Ogilvie turn a traditional fairy tale on its royal head in this bright and funny rhythmic story that will have readers of all ages cheering along for The Worst Princess!


Princess Smartypants
By Babette Cole

Princess Smartypants does not want to get married. She enjoys being an independent Ms. But being a rich and pretty princess means that all the princes want her to be their Mrs. When family pressure mounts, she agrees to look for a mate but sets the candidates tasks that are impossible. Find out how Princess Smartypants fights to preserve her independence in this hilarious fairy-tale-with-a-difference.


That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown
by Cressida Cowell

Technically not a book about a princess… though it is about a brave little girl who stands up to a nasty Queen. One day, Emily and her rabbit are launching themselves into outer space to look for alien life-forms when they are interrupted by the Chief Footman to Queen Gloriana. He offers to trade a golden teddy bear for Bunnywunny. ‘No, thank you,’ said Emily Brown. ‘This rabbit is NOT for sale. And his name isn’t Bunnywunny. It’s STANLEY’.

Unfortunately, Queen Gloriana will not take no for an answer. After several more refusals from an increasingly irritated little girl, the special commandos sneak into her bedroom at night and steal Stanley. Emily Brown storms the palace and confronts the queen, who cannot understand why Bunnywunny looks so miserable. So Emily takes pity on the silly queen and whispers the secret of how to have a happy toy.

This gem of a book features a spunky child with a terrific imagination. The wacky illustrations, done in collage, pen and ink, and watercolor, perfectly depict the joy and energy of the companions’ playtime activities. A worthy contender for best princess books!


Rosie Revere, Engineer
by Andrea Beaty

So Rosie Revere is not about a princess at all – just a super cool and inspirational book about Rosie, who is quiet and shy, always trying to solve problems with her inventions. She keeps her dreams and creations to herself, until one day her great-great-aunt Rose visits and mentions that she has always dreamed of flying. So Rosie sets about building a contraption to help make her aunt’s dream come true. Her invention hovers then crashes – a complete disaster – or is it? Her thoughtful Aunt Rose helps Rosie see that the only way to fail is to quit.

The whimsical, charming illustrations and rhyming text complement the inspiring message at the heart of this book. No glitter, no fairies, no princesses, only the faintest touch of pink, and a special appearance by Rosie the Riveter – we swooned with joy when we discovered this book. While not technically one of the best princess books… we just couldn’t help but recommend this charming and uplifting tale!

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