By Anna Kemp
Random House Children’s Books, $16.99, 32 pages
Perfection is a complicated aspiration for Princess Sue in The Worst Princess. She may sit in a tower reading fairy tales and growing her hair long, but Sue would rather ride horses and slay dragons. When she’s finally rescued from her imprisonment by a heroic, sword-swinging prince, her short-lived freedom clashes with old-fashioned expectations. The Prince wants Sue to stay in her tower, wearing dresses and twirling her hair. Unfortunately for him, Sue decides to make friends with a dragon, who’s more than happy to help the princess win her independence. Together they traverse the world, messing up Sue’s hair, running her dress and wrecking her tower prison among other mischievous adventures.
The modern approach to an otherwise customary tale is a welcome twist, and something this reviewer enjoys. Children will love how humor, rhymes and colorful illustrations reinforce the story, so expect them to read it over and over again. Thankfully The Worst Princess is printed on heavyweight paper, which means the valuable lessons children learn about being different, making friends and having fun can be revisited for years to come.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff
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