Princess Unlimited

Clarion. Nov. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781328904744.
PreS-K–It is always delightful to find a children’s story that shakes things up, encouraging laughter, bravery, and individuality. In a plot reminiscent of Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, Princess Susan’s kingdom is under attack by a fierce dragon. Her parents spent all the treasury on sparkles and frills, for “a princess needs to look fancy,” instead of armor. Hilariously, the military is armed with hedgehogs. Princess Susan, frustrated while speaking to her parents who simply gaze in handheld mirrors, gets a job to make money and befriends a scullery maid, Eleanor. Eleanor quickly becomes her right hand in saving the kingdom, for she has the capability of “Brave Truth Telling.” They save the kingdom without fighting, instead using the sparkly dust Susan detests and creative problem-solving; Susan considers what the dragon wants, as well as the people. Sager Weinstein’s story is a reminder that communication isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile. Figueroa’s art is lush and fierce. Diverse characters are realistic instead of fantastical or magical, and the art showcases the beauty of children who are allowed to be themselves.
VERDICT This essential purchase smashes societal barriers erected against gender and is an enjoyable reminder to think outside the box.

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