The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party Book Poster Image
Guests wait while princess fights monsters in fun sequel.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows 12 princesses from many cultures all dressed up and accompanied by animals from their lands, such as a dragon with the Chinese princess, a giraffe with the African princess, an Indian princess on a tiger, a Nordic princess on a bear, and a Native American princess on a stag, although there's no mention made of anyone's national origin.

Positive Messages

Be kind to your party guests and try not to keep them waiting -- unless you have a good reason, such as saving goats from being eaten by monsters.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Princess in Black is brave and dedicated to saving goats from being eaten by monsters. She does lie a bit to keep her secret identity. The princesses at her party are patient and upbeat. Princess Sneezewort is smart and suspicious but somehow gets fooled in the end.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon violence against monsters, as the Princess in Black smashes, wrestles, and flips them, spanks them with her scepter. Goats are threatened, but none gets eaten. 

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party is the second in the Princess in Black chapter book series by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham, but it easily works as a standalone. Book 1 introduced Princess Magnolia, who leads a double life, bravely -- and secretly -- sending goat-eating monsters back underground to Monster Land after her glitter-stone ring sounds the alarm. In this story, she's repeatedly summoned, causing repeated delays in opening presents at her birthday party.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byrebma97 January 24, 2016

Cute sequel

The second book in the Princess in Black series is just as cute as the first one. Young readers who enjoyed the first one will really like this one. I even foun... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Princess Magnolia is all set for the perfect birthday party when her glitter-stone ring sounds the alarm that there's a monster attack. She must dash into the broom closet, change out of her puffy pink dress and glass slippers, and get into her Princess in Black pants outfit and boots, jump on her faithful pony, Blackie (after he removes his Frimplepants the unicorn disguise), and fight the monsters that are trying to eat the goats that Duff the goat boy is watching over. The alarm summons her several times, each time delaying when she can open her presents with her party guests. Will she ever get to open them?

Is it any good?

This cute follow-up to the first book should please girls who love imagining a princess party and also enjoy seeing a female superhero fight monsters. The almost-finding-out-her-secret plot is not as original as it was in the first one, however. In Book 1, the nosy Duchess Wigtower almost discovers Princess Magnolia's double life. In this one, it's one of her party guests, Princess Sneezewort. But there's plenty to enjoy in LeUyen Pham's colorful illustrations, including the array of diverse, decked-out princesses and the different monsters' approaches to eating goats -- between giant pieces of bread in a sandwich, in a giant bun like a hot dog, and stuffed in a giant ice cream cone. And it's clever how increasingly tired and disheveled the Princess in Black looks as the day goes on.

The one twist is a monster giving her jewels when he finds out it's her birthday -- and her in turn giving them to her guests who've been waiting so long.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about birthday parties. What's the most fun part? The games, the cake, opening presents, dressing up for the party, or being with friends?

  • Did you read The Princess in Black? How do you think this story compares? Would you like to read about more of the princess' secret adventures?

  • Do real-life princesses do more than dress up and have parties? What other kinds of things do they do? Do you think they need to be brave?

Book details

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