The Princess in Black
By Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Candlewick Press, 2014
Princess Magnolia is very prim and proper. She wears pink. She is neat. She also has a secret. One day, Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower in her castle when her glitter-stone ring rang, sounding the monster alarm. Excusing herself, Princess Magnolia rushes to the broom closet and emerges as her secret identity, the Princess in Black! With her trusty pony Blacky (aka Frimplepants the unicorn), the Princess in Black fights monsters and wears black, unlike how most princesses behave. Can she defeat the big blue monster and get back in time before the nosy duchess discovers her secret?
This amusing story is fun to read and the illustrations are really cute. The large print makes this chapter book a good choice for newly independent readers. I also love the action aspect of this book and that girls can kick butt and aren't afraid of spiders. The introduction of another hero, the Goat Avenger, makes me eagerly await the second book in this series. If you're looking for a good choice for a young child transitioning up to chapter books, give this one a try. It'll be our secret.