The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle Book Poster Image
Princess-heroes team up to fight (and clean) stinky monster.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

This is a fun fantasy meant to entertain, but it does show process of problem-solving: trying different things on the way to a solution, discovering consequences of quick fixes that just kick the problem down the road to someone else's backyard.

Positive Messages

Some jobs are too much for just one hero -- teamwork helps! 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The brave, problem-solving princess-heroes have various skin tones and hints of various ethnic heritages. They work hard to rid the land of goat-eating monsters but are also kind and compassionate, in this case giving the monster a deep cleaning rather than bashing him. 

Violence & Scariness

Plenty of action but no cartoon violence this time. In climactic scene, instead of displaying battle words like "smash," the double-page spread shows the team of heroes sudsing up the monster with highlighted phrases like "Twinkle twinkle," "Soapy slip!" and "Little splash!" 


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Princess in Black and the Bedtime Battle is the seventh book in the fun fantasy-adventure series for beginning readers by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Previous stories have focused on The Princess in Black keeping her hero identity secret from her princess friends as she fights to keep goat-eating monsters underground in Monster Land. But now those princesses all have secret hero personas, too! Here all the heroes, including the one boy, the Goat Avenger, team up to get rid of a big stinky blob floating over their kingdoms -- which turns out to be a monster, too. 

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What's the story?

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK AND THE BATHTIME BATTLE starts as The Princess in Black notices a stinky green haze outside her castle and follows it to the goat pasture, where she and the Goat Avenger then push it toward another kingdom. But the princess there -- Princess Snapdragon -- doesn't want it. So she puts on her hero disguise as Flower Girl, leaps on her dragon, disguised as Horsefly the Pegasus, and joins them to chase the smell away to the west with flowers. But Princess Honeysuckle in the west doesn't want it, so she dons her outfit as Cartwheel Girl and takes her wolf, disguised as Good Dog, to the the pasture, as well. Together, all four of them set up a big fan and blow the green haze to Princess Orchid's kingdom. But she doesn't want it, so she gets in her costume as Miss Fix-It and goes with her reindeer, disguised as Doom Rabbit the bunny, to the pasture. The Princess in Blankets and her unicorn, Corny, come too. The Princess in Black discovers that this isn't just a big smelly blog: There's monster under the green goo and garbage! So they decide to give him a bath to get him smelling sweet and then send him back underground to Monster Land.

Is it any good?

This wacky adventure is loaded with gross, smelly stuff kids will enjoy as well as great messages about teamwork and problem-solving. It's fun to see that all of The Princess in Black's princess friends' have their own secret hero personas  -- and unusual hero pets, too! The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle ends with a hint that there are "more heroes out there." This beloved series shows no sign of slowing down.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the heroes in The Princess in Black and the Bedtime Battle work together to solve a problem. Have you ever had a problem that you and your friends or family members solved together? What happened? Did it help having other people's ideas?

  • If you had a secret hero identity, what would your name be? What would your costume be? Do you have a pet who could also be a hero in disguise and go on adventures with you? 

  • Why do you think this series is so popular? What's fun about it? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventurous princesses and early reader series

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