Books

Princess books can be inspiring, too.
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These Modern Children’s Books About Princesses Are Inspiring

Princesses wear pants, fight monsters, and save the world with their strength, smarts, kindness and charisma.

Ask a toddler what they want to be when they grow up, and you’re bound to get a series of delightful, and sometimes surprising, answers: doctor, chef, veterinarian, astronaut, grandma. Every so often, that storied occupation of Princess makes the list. From Princess Charlotte to Princess Tiana, examples can be found in books, television, movies, storefronts, and toy stores. It’s no wonder kids wonder about the job that seems to come complete with a castle and crown. But how to explain what the role is really all about?

When it comes to selecting a children’s book about princesses, there is no shortage of options. And while classic fairy tales are still being told, on this list you won’t find a story in which the princess sleeps through most of the action. On the contrary, these modern princesses are the makers of their own destiny, solving their own problems with ingenuity, spirit, and hard work. You’ll spot a tiara or two, but it’ll hardly be the point of these winning tales. So when your toddler says, “I want to be a princess when I grow up!” You can follow up with a twinkling, “How exciting! And what will you do as a Princess?”

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1

A Superhero Tale

Featuring heroines of the DC Comic world (like Princess Diana, aka Wonder Woman), this vivid board book simply states how each superhero, like Batgirl and Bumblebee, uses smarts to save the world — but in the end, there’s no force stronger than that of the heroines working together.

2

A Self-Assured Tale

In this New York Times Bestseller, Princess Penelope Pineapple lives in a castle and goes to a ball. But she also enjoys healthy habits like yoga, and growing tomatoes to feed others — all while wearing pants. She’s got things to do (she’s a pilot, too); sometimes she pairs her pants with a lab coat, other times with a comfy top. And when she saves the royal cat, Miss Fussywiggles, in a hidden pair of swim trunks, others learn not to be so hung up on dress codes.

3

A Magical Tale

Rhyming in long, easy phrases, the beginner book spotlights Princess Truly in rocket boots, who declares, “I am very mighty. I am strong and smart. I can do anything. I have a brave heart.” Rainbow powers are used to solve relatable problems, like fixing a smushed birthday cake, and fantastical catastrophes, like a kitten and pup tangled up in a bunch of soaring balloons. But perhaps Princess Truly’s greatest feat is helping her friend, who doesn’t have a fancy cape, become a supergirl with a little bravery and heart.

4

A Practical Tale

In the first book of the series, Princess Cupcake Jones is on a castle-wide search for her favorite tutu. Along the way, she finds lots of her missing toys, and an appreciation for keeping everything safe in its place. In another story, Princess Cupcake Jones faces the first day of school. This loved hero, with celebrity fans like Khloe Kardashian, currently has over five fun adventures to share with readers.

5

An Inspiring Tale

The book’s first lines set the stage perfectly: “Princess Kiana was lying in bed. ‘Life in the castle is boring!’ she said.” Her fairy godmother doesn’t give her shoes, but insight into all of the amazing occupations there are to consider. Princess Kiana wonders, what’s it like in space? What’s it like to be a doctor, an engineer? With real day-in-the-life glimpses, the fairy godmother shows how wondrous a life spent in a space station, or a hospital, or an art studio can be.

6

A Fun Tale

With just enough silly mixed into this early reader-series (the monsters who live in Monster Land love eating goats… and toe-nail clippings), toddlers and big kids will enjoy the tales of Princess Magnolia and her alter ego. You’ll chuckle through the breezy chapters as she saves the day again, and again, and again...

7

A Funny Re-Telling

To Star Wars fans, there can be little else funnier than watching the imposing, helmeted Darth Vader being bossed around by his little Princess Leia. Turns out, the trials of raising a child are more intimidating than Stormtroopers, as Vader desperately doles out commands like, “Don’t splash my cape,” “You are not going out dressed like that!” and the very familiar, “From now on you do as I tell you, OK?” The comic-book-style illustrations, which in one scene depict Vader instructing Leia on how to drive a spaceship and go “easy on the clutch,” are sure to elicit more than a few LOL moments.

8

A Relatable Tale

The simply told rhyming series answers fun questions, like, do princesses really wear hiking boots and kiss frogs? With each answer, children learn that Princesses really aren’t so different than non-royal-born kids. They drink lemonade, snuggle with their dogs, and wear sensible shoes to play in the dirt.

9

A Wondrous Re-Telling

15-year-old Princess Lex reads all day long on a Planetoid, until it’s threatened with an unimaginable fate: a future without books. Familiar to fairytale fans, the rhyming Sleeping Beauty-inspired story finds Princess Lex in a sad, shadowy present; with bravery, often sourced from favorite stories, Princess Lex is determined to undo the fairy’s curse and turn the pages of beloved books once again. Spoiler alert: In an ultimate show of kindness, Lex helps the very fairy who cursed them.

10

A Glamorous Tale

If your little one has starry eyed dreams of showbiz, this inspired story — full of fizz, glamour and sparkle — from real life international superstar Kylie Minogue will surely inspire. Kylie feels like a princess once she’s in her extravagant stage costumes, but she knows she can only live out her dreams with the help of her hardworking stage family, with members like the super tour manager, dazzling dancers, and one magical makeup artist. In Kylie’s quest to deliver a magnificent Showgirl concert, she must also find her missing showgirl shoes. Sure, there are depictions of indulgent shopping trips — but they’re to buy gifts for her show family. Budding artists will also be treated to watching Kylie do real-life tour tasks, like sound checks and dress rehearsals.

11

A True-To-Life Biography Tale

At over 100 informative pages, this chapter book on the life of Diana Frances Spencer shares insight into the role of this real-life princess. The story may open with the fairytale scene of Lady Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles, but it’s the story of the People’s Princess, and her internal and outward kindness, that inspire. Going over the Princess’s roots in teaching and love of children, her memory will surely linger after the last page.