Children’s Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
The Princess in Black was written by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham and published by Candlewick Press in Canada and USA, Walker Books in Australia (2015.)
From the publisher:
Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when. . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has 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 defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here 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.
The Princess in Black is an illustrated short chapter book or junior novel, perfect for newly independent readers or kids who need some support when reading. The large font, the frequent and expressive illustrations, and the carefully chosen vocabulary help scaffold young readers. The humour, the plot and the tension delight them and keep them reading. Will the big blue goat-eating monster defeat the Princess? Will the snoopy Duchess Wigtower discover the Princess’s secret? Will the Goat Avenger eventually have a story of his own?
The book is full of action and not bogged down with too much description. Can you imagine children not being entranced by a monster alarm in the shape of a glitter-stone ring, a black pony disguised as a unicorn called Frimplepants, and a secret passage concealed in a tree trunk? I predict kids will love The Princess in Black and will be delighted to learn a sequel is on its way.
Do check out The Princess in Black website for more information, including a great activity kit to help extend the literature experience. Read Jen Robinson’s review of The Princess in Black here.
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