(Keep reading.) ( We have relatively few Robert Munsch books in our home library – not out of design; we’re just late-comers to this caustically entertaining Canadian children’s author and, believe me, we have friends who think much, much less of us for letting Munsch fall under our radar.(His fans veer towards the evangelical, in my experience.) That being said, you can’t have a collection of subversive princess literature without including , a very direct, very funny indictment of the “Happily Ever After” scam.Princess Paulina is struggling with peasant life now that her father, the king, has given up his throne to become a wood-carver.So, when she hears that Prince Drupert is seeking a wife, she hurries over to “get back to princessing” and finds herself in a competition against other potential princesses to be his bride.The humor in is really irreverent and clever – it reminds me a lot of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre – particularly as Princess Paulina realizes how ridiculous the competition is.She’s competing against nicely exaggerated versions of classic princesses like Snow White and Rapunzel and, after a cooking competition where Paulina accidentally invents pizza, the book ends with a great twist – Paulina sees the value in what she’s created, tells Drupert to shove it, and opens a successful pizza joint.That being said, is possibly the most visually arresting princess book that I’ve ever seen and my daughter does love flipping through the pages and marveling at the beautiful artwork. Lechermeier has created this extremely unique catalog of different kinds of princesses and none of them are the traditional damsel-in-distress sort.There’s Princess Paige, the librarian; Princess Primandproper, with the permanently pinched face; and, beyond the wordplay (and the book is packed TIGHT with wordplay), you’ll find unusual princesses from all over the world.
Princess Isabella hates being waited on, hates sitting around and doing nothing, so she tosses out her crown and declares that she wants to get “dirty”.And, on the flip side, I also don’t want to give my daughter really hacky, didactic propaganda pieces where the author is just out to scream, “AND THE PRINCESS COULD DO ANYTHING THE PRINCE COULD DO! ” (If I could find the video of ‘s Liz Lemon as her high-school football place kicker, missing an easy kick and cheering “Equality!”, I’d put it here.) Even if I agree with the message, if it’s not a well-told story, forget about it.This is a very silly take on the whole notion of princessing, but Paulina is such an expansive, resourceful character that your princess-jonesing kids will love her. It’s more of a storybook than a picture book, so there’s a fair bit of text on its 32 pages.) Readers of this blog won’t be surprised at all to hear me praising a book by Florence Parry Heide and Lane Smith, but, all of my preferences and biases aside, for the blog, but I couldn’t leave it off this list.) The concept is elegantly absurd – there was a princess with a problem. She can’t stop herself from floating into the air at any time.And, around that premise, Heide and Smith craft a story that just feels fresh and unique – you’ve never read a princess book like this before.