A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Amid the fantasy creatures, there are real undersea creatures like the narwhal, sponges, and a sea snail. Some advanced vocabulary, including "kelp" and "capricorns" for goats.
Princess Posy's "Nice Tips: 1. Talk to lonely creatures. 2. Don't make fun of anyone. 3. Protect your friends from things that might eat them." The Princess in Blanket's "Princess Tips: 1. Speak up!" Having friends on your side can help you feel stronger.
Positive Role Models
The three heroes -- The Princess in Black, The Princess in Blankets, and the Goat Avenger -- are brave and helpful. They encourage the mermaid Princess Posy to speak up, and they help rid her of the kracken.
The mermaid Princess Posy has dark brown skin and is portrayed as a kind, protective ruler of her underwater kingdom.
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Violence & Scariness
A typical climactic battle against a monster (the kracken) features cartoon violence (slams, rams, and a mermaid tail slap).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess is the ninth book in the Shannon Hale and Dean Hale's Princess in Black series. In this adventure, the princess and the Goat Avenger go out with Princess Sneezewort aka the Princess in Blankets, on her boat and meet a mermaid, a merboy, a narwhal, sea goats, an undersea kracken, and maybe even a sea monster. There's the typical a climactic battle against the kracken featuring cartoon violence (slams, rams, and a mermaid tail slap). And lots of positive teamwork.
Is It Any Good?
This undersea romp is loads of fun with wonderful world-building and amusing twists on the aboveground problems that our heroes are used to encountering. In The Princess in Black and the Mermaid Princess, there are not goats but sea goats (half-goat and half-mermaid), and the monster who wants to eat them is called a kracken. The mermaid princess' loyal steed is a narwhal called Krimpledance, who reminds the Princess in Black of her unicorn named Frimplepants. Everything is totally different but a lot like home. This is an especially fun adventure for series fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.