The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
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Teamwork rules in snowy adventure with new heroes.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

When you need help solving a problem, ask others for help. Teamwork can help you problem-solve and accomplish your goal. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Princess in Black and all the heroes are brave and willing to help out in a crisis. The diverse heroes have various skin tones and hairstyles, indicating different ethnicities.

Violence & Scariness

There's a snowball fight, the heroes try to trip the giant with some twine. The giant looks like he's going to eat the Goat Avenger but after gnawing on his legs with his gums he drops him in the snow.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem is the eighth volume in Shannon Hale and Dean Hale's fun Princess in Black series. This one is different in two ways: 1) it's set in a wintery, snowy landscape; 2) the main character and her other hero friends are fighting one monster above ground rather than many monsters who come up from a hole in the ground leading to Monster Land in order to eat goats. And it's not actually a monster, it's a giant. There's the usual cartoon violence, playful incidents, inventive problem solving, and upbeat teamwork and bravery. 

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What's the story?

A snowy playdate turns into a big in challenge in THE PRINCESS IN BLACK AND THE GIANT PROBLEM. The three hero friends -- the Princess in Black, the Princess in Blankets, and the Goat Avenger -- are confronted by a giant yelling "Squashy" and smashing things. As he heads toward the village, the Princess in Blankets sends a Sparkle Signal up into the sky, and four more princess heroes and their pet sidekicks see it in their kingdoms and answer the call. Will they be able to stop the giant before he destroys the village? 

Is it any good?

This snowy adventure finds some new ways to keep the series fresh. The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem goes beyond the hole down to Monster Land and gives the heroes someone new to battle: a giant. And the three main characters get help from four new princess heroes. We've met them before, but here we see them joining in to play a big part in saving the day. There are silly moments, lots of cartoon battle action, an emphasis on teamwork, and a fun twist about who the giant is and why he's on a rampage yelling "Squashy!"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the change in setting in The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem. How fun is it to see the many princess heroes and the Goat Avenger all bundled up and battling in the snow? 

  • How does working together as a team help the princess heroes and the Goat Avenger stop the giant? 

  • What do you think of the four new heroes' pet sidekicks? Which ones are your favorites? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love bold princesses and strong girls

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