Chapter Book Review: The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

The Princess in Black

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Age Range: 5 – 8 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

Series: Princess in Black

Hardcover: 96 pages

Publisher: Candlewick (October 14, 2014)

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Bought for my 6 year old

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Who says princesses don’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! 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.

My Thoughts:

Shannon Hale is brilliant (so is Dean Hale). My six year old daughter is a huge fan of superheroes, ninjas, and adventure, but most books with those themes cater only to boys. The Princess in Black shatters those stereotypes, giving both boys and girls a fun, entertaining story featuring a princess ninja, a monster, a nosy duchess, a curious goat boy, and some very lucky goats.

My daughter has declared it “the best book ever” and has read it several times. She and her sister even started a ninja club where they can discuss science and fight off anyone who tries to stop them.

The story is imaginative, entertaining, and precisely what 5-8 year olds like reading. There are full color illustrations on every page and the vocabulary is simple. It also introduces kids to new words they might not encounter otherwise. Words like “minced” and “pranced” present kids with an achievable challenge.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with a child in the chapter book stage.

Content: Clean

Source: I bought this book for my daughters.



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  • Reply
    Ms. Yingling
    January 30, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Adored Princess in Black but a little alarmed by Glitterbelle! My daughters were born before the princessification of girls, and I bought them trucks and a workbench ala Free to be You and Me. They are still very anti-pink!

  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    February 2, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Shannon Hale! Loved Goose Girl so I will try anything of hers.
    I love the imagination this book has brought upon your daughters. I have high hopes for this one after your review (:

  • Reply
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