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The Princess in Black Hardcover – October 14, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 2,425 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3—In this atypical princess story, the refined and frilly Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with the proper Duchess Wigtower when suddenly the monster alarm sounds. As readers quickly find out, Princess Magnolia is actually the Princess in Black. She dons a black cape and ninjalike outfit to fights the monsters that come from Monster Land. Her superhero identity is top secret; Duchess Wigtower must not find out. While the Princess in Black wages battle, Duchess Wigtower snoops around her castle, always looking for evidence of the princesses' imperfections. Meanwhile, Duff the goat boy suspects the true identity of the Princess in Black and considers helping her. The colorful illustrations on each page help move readers through the story as the heroic princess saves the day. The action-packed text in this beginner chapter book will enthrall and is ideal for independent reading or reading aloud. The ending leaves readers with just enough of a wink to hint at a future installment. Give this engaging read to fans of "Bink and Gollie" (Candlewick).—Nancy Jo Lambert, McSpedden Elementary Frisco, TX

Review

This charmingly told book has lovely old-fashioned illustrations and a great message: You can’t judge a princess by the color of her gown.
—New York Times Book Review

The rounded, cartoony illustrations featuring chubby characters keep the fight sequence soft and comical. ... The gently ironic text will amuse readers (including adults reading the book aloud). The large print and illustrations expand the book to a longish-yet-manageable length, giving newly independent readers a sense of accomplishment. ... Action, clever humor, delightful illustrations and expectation-defying secret identities—when does the next one come out?
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The authors of "Rapunzel’s Revenge" and "Calamity Jack," writing here for a slightly younger audience, successfully turn the treacly princess genre on its ear, offering beginning readers a clever, adventurous, and self-reliant heroine who is equally at home in black or pink. Pham’s watercolor-and-ink illustrations, rendered in the style of the Disney classics, effectively contrast Magnolia’s identities and emphasize the text’s humor. Clever details (Duff and his goats eat popcorn on the sidelines as they watch the PIB do her thing) and short manageable sentences make for a promising, and sure to be wildly popular, new series debut.
—Booklist (starred review)

The Hales translate the humor and adventure that characterize their Rapunzel’s Revenge into prose form for a younger audience with aplomb and wit, giving amusing nods to both the Disney princess tradition and the superhero genre. Short sentences, a simple vocabulary with the occasional challenge, a manageable length, and a near picture-book level of illustrative density give this chapter book immense accessibility. Pham’s watercolor and ink art has a goofy cartoonishness, with the Princess’s doe-eyed damsel figure contrasting entertainingly with her ninja-like moves, and the monsters themselves are a parade of wacky Muppet-like creatures. Whether they prefer pink sparkles or superhero capes, readers, especially newly independent ones, will find themselves anxiously awaiting the next installment of the PIB’s adventure.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The colorful illustrations on each page help move readers through the story as the heroic princess saves the day. The action-packed text in this beginner chapter book will enthrall and is ideal for independent reading or reading aloud. The ending leaves readers with just enough of a wink to hint at a future installment. Give this engaging read to fans of “Bink and Gollie".
—School Library Journal

The Hales drop narrative breadcrumbs throughout the story, setting up subsequent titles in the planned series, and they build comic tension by alternating scenes of the masked princess’s monster-fighting with ones starring Duchess Wigtower, who Princess Magnolia has left waiting back at her castle, and who has a fondness for uncovering secrets.... Pham offers little jolts of energy and wit on every page, with full-page and spot illustrations that have the vivaciousness and irreverence of contemporary animation.
—Publishers Weekly

Finally, a book for kids where a princess saves herself. ... Kids will love meeting this new non-traditional princess who bucks the stereotype of princesses past.
—Metro US

This charming begining chapter book will please princess and action fans alike.
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

For readers who love "all things princess," it provides a fabulous vision of how the definition of a role can expand.
—Blade

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Candlewick (October 14, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 96 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 076366510X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0763665104
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 - 8 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 500L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Kindergarten - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.75 x 0.55 x 8.44 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 2,425 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
2,425 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended
By Guy Doright on March 11, 2018
My 5 year daughter loves this book! She can almost ready it by herself. Her older brother (7) even enjoys it. It has just the right amount of pink and monsters ;) Full colored illustrations on every page keeps kids interested. I highly recommend this book for any child.
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Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Undermines the Disney princess narrative.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 7, 2016
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11 people found this helpful
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Miriam Thorne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Girls and Boys
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 12, 2015
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14 people found this helpful
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Yummy Mummy83
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! My 7 year old son loves it! Great to help him read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2017
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EJSC
5.0 out of 5 stars I hate princess stories but loved this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 5, 2017
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Marianthy Riga
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart and funny, beautifully illustrated
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2020
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