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The Princess in Black

(The Princess in Black #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  8,810 ratings  ·  1,539 reviews
Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess
Hardcover, 90 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Candlewick Press
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,810 ratings  ·  1,539 reviews

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Start your review of The Princess in Black (The Princess in Black, #1)
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy, middle-grade
It is SO HARD to find beginning chapter books, people! SO HARD. I hate those numbered readers. HATE THEM. They are either lame, or they contain words that are well beyond the reading level. (Don't believe me? Get your hands on any of the Indiana Jones ones. That's right, there's some about Indiana Jones, a character from a movie that is far too mature for a 5yo. And they contain words like archaeologist, ritual, and artifact.) So it was with great pleasure that I read this before giving it to my ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Its about a princess that battles with a monster that eats goats. My favorite part was that the monster went into a hole.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: earlychapter, 2014
I love so much about this early chapter book, and am looking forward to more in the series.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It is adorable, funny, creative, fun and the illustrations are super cute. My daughter loves to read it and reread it. ( I have even caught my fifth grade son reading this.) It's simply a joy to pick up and read. This would be perfect for a kindergartner or first grader who is needing a solid, first chapter book. ...more
Gretchen Alice
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps most apparent at Christmastime, books and toys for young girls take a very gendered approach. There is a proliferation of pink and princesses and puffy glittered hearts. Sure, girls can like that stuff, but what about their other interests? The Princess in Black is the perfect solution to that problem. Princess Magnolia leads a pretty idyllic life in her castle. She serves scones and hot chocolate and wears a frilly dress. But when her secret alarm goes off, she turns into The Princess i ...more
Stay Fetters
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Princess Pounce! Blacky Buck! Hornswaggle Hop! Twinkle Twinkle Little Smash!!

Shannon and Dean Hale can never do wrong. They brought my spirit animal, Squirrel Girl into my life and my life hasn't been the same. So when a Princess wears darker clothing, just like me, I rave my way at the chance to read it.

Princess Magnolia is hiding a big, huge secret and if it ever came out, her kingdom will never be the same.

During the day, she's pretty in pink Princess Magnolia and at night she's Princes
Read out loud. My kids love these books SO MUCH, and I love the colorful illustrations. Bathtime Battle was my favorite in the series.
In her everyday life, Princess Magnolia is the typical frilly-glass-slippers-prim-and-perfect princess, but when her monster alarm rings, she become the Princess in Black wearing black tights and a cape with ninja moves. The illustrations are pitch perfect in capturing the charm and humor of the fast paced action. Every character is distinct and deserving of their own book: Frimplepants, big blue monster, Duff, and Goat Avenger. My favorite picture is the double spread of the Princess in Black c ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
(4.5 stars) It's about a princess who wears black and tries to help the boy and the goats from the big blue monster and people think that princesses don't wear black. I was heartbroken because they didn't let the princess wear black. Princess can wear black if they want to. I liked the part where she helped the goats and boy from the big, blue monster. (age 7) ...more
Kristy K
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
3.5 Stars

Cute, easy read great for beginning readers.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
LeUyen Pham's illustrations--I love the book's cover, and the princess's double chin--are what elevated Princess in Black to a 2-star book for me (with reservations--I really didn't dig it). Shannon and Dean Hale's Rapunzel's Revenge had a fabulously feisty female lead character who defied convention. The Princess in Black sort-of defies some not-very-up-to-date-sounding conventions, but she's wildly closeted about it, which weirded me out, as did the litany of thudding old-timey-seeming judgmen ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Princess Magnolia is pink and dainty, but while she is having the nosy Duchess Wigtower over for hot chocolate, she gets a monster alarm and has to run out to a neighboring field to save a herd of goats from being eaten.Duff, the goat herder, is so impressed with her that he fashions a costume for himself as the Goat Avenger, and waits for the next time that the monsters forget about the mighty princess and try to eat his goats.

Strengths: Very delightful; if this had been around when my daughter
Kaethe Douglas
So many books really play to the expected gender roles of young boys and girls, with pretty clear divisions by color, hobbies, accessories, etc. This book gives us a heroine who is out saving folks dressed all in black like Zorro, but, also, says that the pink isn't automatically bad just because it is girly.

Now I want to go fight monsters.

Pham's artwork, by the way, is fabulous. It captures a retro vibe from picture books of the 60s, but without feeling dated or self-consciously ironic. It suit
Nov 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Cute, and simplistic. Not anything spectacular, but I did love the illustrations.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book a lot but I have to admit that I was expecting that simply because of Shannon Hale. Such a cute read and series about a perfect, pretty, pink princess who secretly protects her kingdom from Monster Land as the brave, daring, and kind Princess in Black. A must read for all my juvenile readers out there!
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Beginning Chapter-Book Readers
Princess Magnolia leads a double life in this early chapter-book fantasy for those children just getting going with longer fiction. A sweet, mild-mannered princess in public, her alter-ego - The Princess in Black - fights monsters whilst in disguise. Even her equine companion - sparkly unicorn Frimplepants when bearing Princess Magnolia, and sturdy pony Blacky when riding with the Princess in Black - gets in on the double-act. But when Princess Magnolia is called away to fight monsters while ent ...more
Skye Kilaen
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
When Candlewick Press offered us a review copy of The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, I said yes!

Because who wouldn't want to read this? Incognito princess fighting monsters? Perfect! Art by LeUyen Pham? Even better!

I tried only reading part of it to my seven year old son, but that was no good. He wouldn't let me stop until the end. And as the back cover closed, he asked, anguished "IS BOOK TWO OUT YET?!"

Son, I'm sorry, but the first book just came out in October. Cue loud dram
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I picked this up off the new shelf thinking my daughters would enjoy it and having no idea that it would become my five year old's new absolute favorite. Princess Magnolia is a fancy, proper pink princess who has a secret. She secretly dresses in black (still with the tiara of course) and does superhero things like stopping monsters from eating her buddy's goats. The artwork is fun and the text is charming and funny. The one problem I have with the story is, as my daughter herself asked me, "why ...more
H. D.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an unexpectedly fun read this was! Even for adults. Assuming I qualify as one. I was looking for a gift for my niece, who had loved Vader's Little Princess (Jeffrey Brown) and this was recommended to me by a guru of kids' books. I didn't plan to read it before giving it to her, but in my continuing post-Morning Star (Pierce Brown) hangover state, I figured it was a safe bet to not wreck my tiny uncarved Earthborn heart.

The writing is clever enough to withstand multiple adult reading-aloud'
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought the premise of this book seemed charming, and I love girl power kids books. This absolutely did not disappoint.

The art was cute and charming, the humour was on point (still smiling at "cheeky snail"), and the story was adorable. I know that I would have loved reading this when I was little, and it was fun just to see a princess tackle the duties of princesses and moster hunting all in one book.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a kid's book with an awesome girl in
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this more than I did. I love the premise: Princess Magnolia looks like a typical princess in her frilly pink dress but when trouble comes (in the shape of a large blue monster) she sneaks out of the palace and adopts her secret identity as the Princess in Black. Unfortunately I just didn’t find the story that interesting, and I didn’t really like the illustrations. Still, this might be a nice book to share with girls who are really into Disney princesses, Barbie, and the endless ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Things I Liked:
Yes! I love this book. Short, silly, fun, quirky, and best of all it can easily help little girls feel like they can have the best of both worlds - pretty dress ups and fighting bad guys. I feel like I love this book even more because of Shannon's extensive blogging about girls and boys and writing and stereotypes. But really, just get this book for every young girl you know.

Things I Didn't Like:
Want. More.
Full review at One Librarian's Book Reviews.
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, superheroes
I loved superhero comics so much when I was a kid, I brought superhero tropes into other genres and settings, like having my Dungeons and Dragons characters assume "superhero" names and wearing masks. The Princess in Black is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved, which is why I love it now. What's not to love about a pretty princess in pink who, in times of need, puts on a black costume and mask to fight monsters, while worrying people might discover her secret identity? Cute, fun, and s ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Because I have read Goose Girl many many times, I decided to purchase this book from a book order instead of borrowing it at the library for my girls. I am so glad I bought this book. My oldest loved it so much she read it twice in one day, once to herself and then again to her little sister. At age 7, that's pretty great! It's a cute story, with entertaining pictures. Thank you, Shannon Hale! Another great book! ...more
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is funny, smart, subversive, and whimsically illustrated. It's written on a level that's perfect for those on the edge of reading first chapter books (but the humor extends far beyond). Fans of the writing style of Mercy Watson will love the writing style of the Princess in Black.

P.S. Her horse is named Frimplepants. And they fight brightly-colored goat-stealing monsters. What more can you ask for??!
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect bedtime story to read to my 4 year old. She loved the illustrations and that the princess had mad ninja skills and I loved that there were chapters so we could put it aside after 'just one more chapter' and that it was long enough to last a couple of days. Plus, the story was cute and the illustrations were fun. We'll definitely head over to the library to find the next book! ...more
This is an adorable story! DD enjoys books with animals most of the time. She does seen to like fantasy too and has come to love Jack and Annie in the magic tree house. After hearing about this series on the read aloud revival I decided we would give these a try too. She loves them! Glad to have found another series to enjoy!
Carlisa Cramer
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have to read a bunch of early chapter books for a class, but I'm glad I chose this as one! Breaking down stereotypes of what a "princess" should be with cute illustrations and lines that made me laugh out loud. Well done! ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My little sister brought me her new copy of The Princess in Black and said I had to read it. I'm glad I did! This book was so cute! The story was humorous and engaging, and the illustrations were lovely! It's fun for all! I look forward to collecting the rest of the series! :D ...more
My 7-year old’s rating and reviews.

“I love this book! Even though there were 15 chapters, the chapters were really short so we finished it in one day and that was cool! I want to read more princess in black books.”
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Shannon Hale is the New York Times best-selling author of six young adult novels: the Newbery Honor book Princess Academy, multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days, and the highly acclaimed Books of Bayern series. She has written three books for adults, including the upcoming Midnight in Austenland (Jan. 2012), companion book to Austenland. She co-wrote the hit graphic novel Rapunzel's Reveng ...more

Other books in the series

The Princess in Black (9 books)
  • The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party (The Princess in Black, #2)
  • The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black, #3)
  • The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation (The Princess in Black #4)
  • The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate (The Princess in Black #5)
  • The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare (The Princess in Black #6)
  • The Princess in Black and the Bathtime Battle (The Princess in Black, #7)
  • The Princess in Black and the Giant Problem (Princess in Black #8)
  • The Princess in Black and the Case of the Coronavirus: A PSA Booklet

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“But Princess Magnolia wore glass slippers on weekdays. Princess Magnolia was afraid of snails. Sunlight made Princess Magnolia sneeze. And at the moment, the Princess in Black was hog-tying a monster.” 0 likes
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