I'm often asked, "What can I read to (or with) my children, once they're interested in books a little longer than picture books?" and I really enjoy recommending The Princess in Black books because they're fun, have full-colour illustrations and are a manageable length. (I also like them because they're not pink and fluffy and Princess Magnolia is a kick-ass heroine but hey...). And it's one of those series, where, unless you pick a copy up and flick through a few pages, it's not obvious how gorgeous these illustrations are. So I thought I'd share a couple of inside pages with you here.
It's clear our reviewers have loved this series too:
"This is a great book for early independant readers, with a simple story to follow and lots of short chapters!"
"I really enjoyed this book and read it all in one go. I liked how the princess became someone else when she had to fight the monsters and then went back to being the princess. The pictures in the book really help me imagine the story in my head. "
"I really enjoyed this book as it is about a Princess superhero with a difference."
You can read more about the four books in the series here and click through to read reviews below.
Book 1: The Princess in Black
Who says princesses can't wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black.
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! A rollicking read from the award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham.
Book 2: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
A superhero princess, inconvenient monster alarms, a glittering party and spot-on slapstick pacing all abound in this sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Princess in Black. Today is Princess Magnolia's birthday party, and everything is going wrong. Just as her guests are arriving ... Brring! Brring! It's the monster alarm! Princess Magnolia has to run to the broom cupboard, ditch her frilly clothes, and become the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back - an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there - it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don't those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?
Book 3: The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde
Princess Magnolia and her unicorn, Frimplepants, are on their way to have brunch with Princess Sneezewort when Princess Magnolia's glitter-stone ring rings. The monster alarm! After a quick change in the secret cave, Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants are transformed into the Princess in Black and her faithful pony, Blacky. But when they get to the goat pasture, all they can see is a field full of darling little bunnies. Are these bunnies as innocent as they appear?
It's holiday time for the Princess in the bestselling, laugh-a-minute, action-packed adventure for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.
After battling monsters all night, a sleepy Princess in Black decides that she needs a holiday. After all, the Goat Avenger has offered to protect the goats while she's away. The very next day Princess Magnolia rides her bicycle to the seaside, where the air is salty, the sun is shiny, and the sea is as blue as monster fur. But just as Princess Magnolia is about to take a nap on her hammock, she hears a "ROAR!" Could a sea monster ruin this holiday for the Princess in Black?