Tuesday, November 10, 2015

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEW: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale


Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate.

Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes 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?


I'll start by saying that this is one of my all time favorite early chapter book series and all libraries that serve young readers should have it.  Not only is Princess Magnolia the perfect blend of beautiful, kind, sparkly princess but she's also rough and tough when she needs to be.  After all, those monsters don't seem to speak any other language, although hysterics seems to have an impact as well.  Princess Magnolia does her best to be in two places at the same time (her birthday party and the goat field) but things just get harder and harder until finally she just loses it.  I think anyone whose been pushed too far can relate to Magnolia's frustration, adult or child.  I've also found when reading this out loud (which is an utterly delightful experience, especially if you use varying tones) that girls and boys love this equally.  And why not, it's got enough princess frills to satisfy the softest heart and enough fighting and action to satisfy the adventurous heart. Highly recommended.

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