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'The Worst Princess' by Anna Kemp: Not your typical princess

Great picture book for classrooms and read aloud
courtesy of Random House Children's Books

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp

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In the picture book "The Worst Princess," Anna Kemp lets young readers know that while society may have certain expectations, if you are determined enough, you can take control of your life. Heady stuff for a picture book, right?

Well, think back to "Paper Bag Princess" by Robert Munsch. While the princess in "The Worst Princess," Princess Sue, doesn't exactly rescue the prince from the dragon, she does rescue herself from the prince. With the help of the dragon.

For this Sue doesn't want to simper and go to royal galas. When the prince tells her:

"It's me who wears the armor here,
and you wear dresses. Are we clear?
Just smile a lot and twist your curls.
Dragon bashing's not for girls."

Written in clever rhyme, kids will love hearing this tale over and over. They will also love the bright illustrations by Sara Ogilvie. From Sue with her long red braids and yellow gym shoes to the very proper prince with the huge red plume on top of his helmet, each page is filled with color and images and animals.

This is a great choice for the primary classroom. There are many other "princess" books that can be used for compare and contrast discussions. And because of the dragon, even boys will like this princess story.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Random House, for review purposes.

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