Tag Archives: princess

Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm by Pete Planisek


Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm by Pete Planisek, illustrated by Elizabeth Nordquest, chapter e-book, 42 pages, published by Enceladus Literary in 2016.

Princess Bella is beautiful and kind, but she does not laugh. Eventually the people in her kingdom begin to refer to her as the Ice Princess because no one has ever heard her laugh. One evening after a particularly bad day, Princess Bella is dragonapped from the highest tower of the castle, and removed to a treasure-filled cave high in a distant mountain. Princess Bella quickly befriends the lonely dragon, Spurlock, and they enjoy each other’s company. After a while Princess Bella begins to feel homesick. She can’t stay in a dragon’s cave forever, can she?

A whimsical tale of friendship and acceptance, I quite enjoyed Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm. It was a quick and easy read, with short sentences and simple phrasing perfect for young readers starting out with chapter books.

Each chapter had a colourful illustration at the start showing an image from the story. These were not only cute, but also helpful in making the text less daunting for younger readers.

The story was heart-warming, and it made me laugh, especially when Prince Himmasnob was about! Even his hair was amusing. I have a soft spot for dragons, and I really liked Spurlock. The concept of an ice-skating, skiing, snow-ball tossing dragon just delighted me.

Princess Bella and the Dragon’s Charm is most suitable for lower to middle primary school children to read themselves, but it would also be a lovely story to share aloud.


*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.


The Princess and the Dragon: A Fractured Fairy Tale by Marjorie Bayes


The Princess and the Dragon coverThe Princess and the Dragon: A Fractured Fairy Tale by Marjorie Bayes and illustrated by Agnes Villeda, e-book, 40 pages, published in 2015.

This unusual princess helps her father and mother to rule, and on the side she rescues princes. One very annoying prince has been captured by the Dragon. Dutifully, the Princess goes along to rescue him, only to find the Dragon isn’t really all that good at being a dragon. So she recruits him to help her with some issues in the Kingdom.

The Princess and the Dragon is a short chapter book that will delight children young and old. It turns the ‘Prince rescues Princess, slays dragon and marries Princess” fairy tale on its head in an entertaining and amusing way. There are only three chapters, so it was a quick read for me, but I really enjoyed it. I liked the simple pictures too. Every second page or so is filled with coloured illustrations, which are beautifully rendered and complement the story nicely.

My favourite character was the Dragon, with his ineffectual roar, vegetarian ways and love of roses. He was always reluctant to help the Princess, but got there eventually. It was funny that he kept telling her things were against the dragon rules, when he was mostly just making that up! The Princess is no ordinary royal either, she is forthright, sensible and responsible. No pretty dresses and swooning for her! She makes a great lead character and role model for girls. She can be herself and she can do anything.

The Princess and the Dragon is an enjoyable read most suitable for lower and middle primary school students.


*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.

I Wanna Be a Pretty Princess by Heath McKenzie


IMG_1565I Wanna Be a Pretty Princess by Heath McKenzie, hardback picture book, published by Scholastic Australia in 2014.

Wanting to become a pretty princess is a dream of many young girls, but what does it really take to be one? Dresses, hair, dancing… Here are the rules for being a pretty princess.

A Princess shows the young girl what it takes to be a pretty princess, which isn’t really much fun, there’s hard work too. Some things are uncomfortable and boring, she can’t even eat all the yummy food at the tea party, and she certainly can’t just be herself.

My preschooler likes to dress up as a pretty princess a lot, so when she saw this book she was very excited. She loves it. It is very funny, and the illustrations are fantastic. The expressions of the girl are particularly well drawn, and the boy prince that comes to court her is amusing. I like that the girl discovers that being a princess isn’t all glamour and fun as they are often portrayed, there are sacrifices as well. She finds that it is far better to be herself and do the things she actually likes to do, this is a good message for our girls and boys (though I’m not sure many boys aspire to become princesses!). Pretending to be a princess, without all of the pressures and obligations of a real princess, is much more fun!

This is a nice book for preschool and lower primary school children. It probably appeals more to girls, though I won’t hesitate to read it to my son as well.

Princess Evie’s Ponies: Indigo the Magic Rainbow Pony by Sarah KilBride and Sophie Tilley


IMG_0754Princess Evie’s Ponies: Indigo the Magic Rainbow Pony by Sarah KilBride and illustrated by Sophie Tilley, paperback picture book, published by Simon and Schuster in 2012.

Princess Evie and her pet cat, Sparkles, have a stable full of magic ponies who take them on adventures. In Indigo the Magic Rainbow Pony, when they ride through the tunnel of trees they emerge into a world of colours. Evie’s clothes have changed to rainbow colours, and so has Indigo’s coat and mane, and there are beautiful butterflies everywhere. Yet, as they ride on they encounter a drab, grey garden, drained of colour. Evie discovers a map that tells her to find the magic girls and collect their coloured stones to return the colours. So Evie, Indigo and Sparkles set out to do just that.

A fun story with magic, adventure, new friendships, sharing and colour. The illustrations are particularly nice, with lots of detail and lovely colours. My preschooler was immediately drawn to this book because it had silver sparkles and a pony on the front cover. She also liked the shiny pink hearts and lettering of the title. The story containing a princess, magic and rainbows were bonuses. My daughter is very pink and princessy and this is the sort of book that she will ask for repeatedly, until I can’t stand reading it any more. And when I have had enough, she will continue to peruse it herself. With two daughters, I’m working on building my tolerance for magic ponies, fairies, princesses, animals…. I prefer a good giggle book to share, but I have to run with what the kids like, though it will be nice when A can read these types of books herself! This is not a bad book however, it just isn’t my cuppa, and my four year old loved it! This book would particularly appeal to girly girls in the preschooler to lower primary age groups.

The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot


The Princess Diaries are written in first person as Mia writing entries into her journal. The language used is appropriately teenager-ish with lots of “Why me?” and “I am not even kidding”, an extremely annoying phrase, as well as plenty of obsessive comments about boys, kissing, breasts and other teenage behaviours. For this reason, I think it would be unsuitable for children below upper primary or early high school to read.

IMG_4928The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, paperback, 230 pages, published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2001.

Mia Thermopolis thinks she is just a normal high school student with normal teenager problems, like flunking algebra, and lack of breast development. She thinks she is unattractive, unpopular, and flat-chested, and is sometimes bullied by the popular jocks and cheerleaders at school. Her best friend, Lilly, is a genius with tendencies towards being a bit domineering and superior, and Mia finds her brother, Michael, very attractive, but she can’t tell Lilly that. Mia lives in New York City with her artist mother and their extremely overweight cat, Fat Louie. Also her mum is dating her algebra teacher, the one subject she is currently failing. Her father lives in Europe in a small country called Genovia, and for her first fourteen years, Mia has thought he was a rich politician there, but then she discovers that her father is actually the reigning monarch of Genovia, and in turn Mia is the Princess of Genovia. That is when her life is turned upside down, and she has to face reporters, her Grandmere’s princess lessons, and having a bodyguard tag along on her every move, even around school. She records her adventures in the journal her mother gave her in the hopes that she might express her feelings somewhere at least, even if she won’t tell her.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and funny, and I came to like Mia. Of course, I could hardly see Mia as an average teenager though, even before it is revealed that she is a princess. After all, her mother is a well-known artist, and she spends summers and Christmases with her father at her Grandmere’s chateau in France. She attends what appears to be an expensive private school and mingles with geniuses on a daily basis. Her best friend, Lilly, has her own public access show, which Mia helps to film, and Michael publishes his own webzine.¬† That is hardly the life of an average teenager. And did it really come as such a surprise that her father was royalty? Where did Mia think all of that money came from, why does her Grandmere have before and after hour privileges to the shops in Genovia, why does her Grandmere’s chateau require a private airstrip, why doesn’t she spend her holidays at her father’s home? And why hasn’t she asked her father any of these questions? If you can just accept the premise that Mia believes herself to be a normal teenager, and that she really hadn’t asked herself any of those questions about her father, the story is quite enjoyable.


IMG_4927The Princess Diaries: Take Two by Meg Cabot, paperback, 213 pages, published by Macmillan Children’s books in 2001.

In the second book of the Princess Diaries, Mia has new problems to deal with. Her mum is getting married to her algebra teacher, whom she still refers to as Mr G, despite the impending certainty that he will soon be her stepfather. And her Grandmere has taken it upon herself to organise a most grandiose affair for the wedding, which Helen (Mia’s mother) will never agree to. Part of that included inviting Helen’s parents, whom she doesn’t get along with particularly well, all the way from Indiana, along with Mia’s cousin Hank. And if that isn’t bad enough, she has to cope with press interviews, and a secret admirer that she hopes is Michael, about which she still can’t talk to Lilly about it.¬†Another enjoyable story about an unlikely teenage princess moving through the hazardous world of family, friends and high school.