Review: The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp

worst princess

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie

Girl power is celebrated in this picture book that turns the princess role firmly on its head.  Princess Sue has been lingering in her castle for over 100 years, waiting for her prince to come and rescue her.  Just as she is about to lose it, her prince appears on horseback and whisks her off.  But just as Sue thinks that she is heading to freedom, the prince arrives at his castle where Sue is given her own tower filled with dresses and shoes and informed that she shouldn’t even be thinking of adventures.  But Sue refuses to give up on her dreams and when she sees a fearsome dragon flying nearby, she gets a clever idea.

I must admit to a certain adoration for books that take girls away from the stereotypical princess role and make them active participants in their own destinies.  So this book is right up my alley.  Told in rhyme, the effect is dashing and active rather than sweet and stately.  It also has the feel of a bard’s story about Princess Sue.  The writing is also humorous and fun-filled.

The illustrations of the book are bright-colored and also filled with humor.  Sue’s long braids dangle down, her dress changes as the story progresses, and the sharing of tea with a dragon is definitely something to see. 

Get this in the hands of modern children who want to be more than princesses (and princes) as well as dragon-lovers.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Random House.