Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party

The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Illustrations by LeUyen Pham

Everyone loves Shannon Hale’s Princess in Black series and for my four year old, this is really in the sweet spot for him of being appropriate subject matter, fun and yet more substantive than many picture books. But he isn’t the one who needs a daily dose of this one.

Nope. My 19 month old is the one who brings this over shrieking GOAT GOAT. Now, with full apologies to Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, whose work I love, he would never in a million years stand for a word for word reading of this. Instead, I offer a criminally abridged version featuring lots of page flipping so my little one can focus on what he truly loves: LeUyen Pham’s gorgeous illustrations. As evidenced earlier, he’s a huge fan of the goats so he loves shaking his finger and saying “no, no, no, NO GOAT” to the monsters as they try to snack on goat sandwich, or goat hot dog or goat ice cream cone. He adores pointing to each and every one of the princesses’ beloved beasts: dragons, tigers, pigs, giraffes and making sounds for all the ones he can. He even loves flipping through the pages and just watching the beautiful colors swish by. Of course, he’s not the target audience, but it’s great to see him enjoying it anyway!

Age Recommendation: I already knew that this would be a hit with primary grades students who gobble up these transitional chapter books. With illustrations like this I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that my little one can’t help wanting to see more, but I was. Let this do double duty when you check it out. Your 4-9 year old can read it (or listen to a full read aloud) cheerfully and your little one can admire the art!

Sex, Nudity, Dating – None.
Profanity – None.
Death, Violence and Gore – The rather adorable monsters are trounced soundly and returned to monster land in ingenious and bloodless battles.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.

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