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The Princess in Black Hardcover – Oct 14 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (Oct. 14 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076366510X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763665104
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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.

About the Author

Shannon and Dean Hale are the husband-and-wife writing team behind the graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack, both illustrated by Nathan Hale. Shannon Hale is also the author of the Newbery Honor-winning Princess Academy as well as The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, and other novels. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah.

LeUyen Pham is the illustrator of many books for children, including God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams and Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood, as well as the Freckleface Strawberry books by Julianne Moore. LeUyen Pham lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My only wish for this book is that it could be longer and a little more involved. The art is gorgeous and the concept is great. I read it with my son, and he's asked me several times for the next book since we finished it (a few weeks ago). In the vein of the Mercy Watson books, it's a full-colour-illustrated chapter book with dynamic characters and a light plot.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my almost 5-year-old daughter. She absolutely loves it! Even my 2.5-year-old son loves it, and asks for the "Blue Monster". Great writing, great art. A win in our house!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so excited to buy this for my niece! She, and her brother, loved it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even my boy likes it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e55ade0) out of 5 stars 273 reviews
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e405840) out of 5 stars Twinkle, Twinkle, SMASH-HIT at our House! Nov. 18 2014
By SallyBWT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
We borrowed this from the library for my Kindergartener. She loved it so much we read it straight through, then read it again, and then that night when I went in to check on her one last time I found her holding it close in her sleep. I should also note that we are just now entering the super-hero stage in our family with my 3 year old son, so my little girl has gone from watching Disney movies over and over (Rapunzel is the favorite) to Spider-Man and Captain America. "Why are there no girl Super-Heroes?" she asked. I introduced her to Wonder Woman, White Tiger, Batgirl, Supergirl, etc., and she shrugged. She can't really connect to those super-sexy, all-grown-up, major-attitude types.

I recalled reading about Shannon Hale's new book for younger readers. I liked what she'd done with Princess Academy, so I thought I would give it a go for my girl. I did not anticipate the amount of love this book would receive - she cried when she had to give it back to the library (the request list is still long here). She decorated her pumpkin for a school contest to look just like the Princess in Black.

I surprised my daughter with her own copy this last week, and her eyes just lit up. The book currently lives under her pink pillow. My girl LOVES pink, and princesses, and superheroes. This book is NOT about rejecting princesses, or even rejecting the pinkness of girls. This book is about being a hero and saving the day.

This is Zorro for little girls. Princess Magnolia - pink clad perfection in her castle - The Princess in Black when danger lurks in the kingdom!

Give it a chance. My three year old boy loves this book and we look forward to another, especially if it features the Goat Avenger. :-) And more monsters to fight! My two year old daughter has been running around saying the Princess in Black's signature move: Twinkle, Twinkle, SMASH! It's a book our whole family loves.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e405894) out of 5 stars My first grade daughter loved this book so much she read it twice in ... Nov. 16 2014
By A. Butryn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My first grade daughter loved this book so much she read it twice in one day. She is reading the early chapter books and this was on her level. This fantasy-adventure book has many colorful illustrations and extra-large font. The story line moves quickly. I read through the book and found that it is something unique among other stories for this age group: multiple plot lines occurring simultaneously, unexpected developments, and a tidy ending for a book of it's length and depth. It has a strong lead character who is a princess and an adventurer.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e405ccc) out of 5 stars You go, girl! Nov. 16 2014
By Maggie Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Princess Magnolia can sip tea in a pink dress with the best of them, but when she's needed to keep the monsters in Monster Land, it's off with the frills and on with the black tights and cape as she and her trusty steed Frimplepants ride to the rescue. This story is light-hearted fun to read aloud to ages 4-5 or so, and slightly older readers will be delightfully challenged by words like scepter and disguise, if reading on their own.

About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
how I got this book: sent to me by the publisher
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e40b0a8) out of 5 stars Great transition from picture books to chapter books! Nov. 19 2014
By Chris W - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We need more chapter books with lots of pictures! This was the perfect book to help my daughter transition from picture books to chapter books. Thanks Mrs. Hale!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e40b054) out of 5 stars Cute Book Nov. 12 2014
By Jen Griffin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very cute story. Me and my 7 year old took turns reading it - only a few words were troublesome for her. Mainly the character names.